Ex-NOVA teachers file complaint about getting laid off by new owners

About 20 foreign language teachers formerly employed by NOVA Corp. filed a complaint with a labor standards inspection office here on Friday, claiming that they were illegally fired by the companies that took over the failed language school chain.

“Unfair dismissal!” chanted the former NOVA teachers as they joined a prep rally held by [Tokyo Nambu sister union] the General Union in front of the Osaka Chuo Labor Standards Inspection Office in Osaka’s Chuo-ku on Friday before they filed the complaint with the office.

Nagoya-based G.communication Group bought out NOVA after it filed for protection from creditors in October last year, leaving NOVA under bankruptcy proceedings.

However, G.communication Group fired about 800 former NOVA teachers at the end of December, overturning an earlier agreement in November that the company would in principle hire all the former NOVA teachers who wanted to work for the new employer, according to the General Union.

Furthermore, the company refused to renew employment contracts for about 200 other teachers, leaving more than 1,000 teachers unemployed. The dismissed teachers claim that the company violated the Labor Standards Law.

“The company violated the law in that it did not sign employment contracts with the teachers when they started working in November. The company’s dismissal procedures also breach the law in that it notified the teachers of their dismissal via e-mail and without notice,” said a representative of the General Union.