Falsified labor deals rampant at Japan’s nuke plants, says suspect

A power plant construction and maintenance firm has falsified worker contracts for temporary labor at nuclear plants across Japan for years, according to statements by one of the company’s employees charged with involvement in the fraudulent agreements.

Hideo Ichise, 58, and two other people were indicted on Feb. 2 for the dispatch of a worker to the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture under a false contract, a violation of the Employment Security Law. Ichise’s employer Taihei Dengyo Kaisha Ltd. — where he now serves as business manager after a stint as the firm’s Oi operations chief — along with Fukui Prefecture-based plumbing company Takada Kiko were also charged.

Investigators have discovered a dossier on falsified worker contracts at more than 30 Taihei Dengyo branches, further suggesting the firm has been involved in illicit labor deals involving nuclear power plants across the country.

Police have furthermore discovered cases of various personnel agencies siphoning off the wages of temporary workers at nuclear plants, while involvement of the Kitakyushu-based crime syndicate Kudo-kai has also been uncovered.

Taihei Dengyo’s operating officer was also quoted as telling police, “Our company alone cannot hire many workers, so we (falsified labor contracts) knowing it was illegal.”

[One worker in Saga Prefecture] was dispatched to a construction company by a temp agent called simply “boss.” Although there was ostensibly a contract with the construction company and the man worked directly under a construction company employee, “boss” apparently took 5,000 yen out of his 13,000-yen daily wage.

“There were gangsters among those bosses, and sometimes two bosses raked off my wages,” the Saga man recalls.

A temporary personnel agency operator says, “Parent companies send us requests for a certain number of workers, and we submit a list of people who then go and work under those parent companies at nuclear power plants. We give the workers their wages after deducting our share.” Another agent told the Mainichi, “There are times when gangsters are involved in recruiting workers. It is easy for us to hire them because they save us the trouble.”