Ginza hostesses sue upscale club over unpaid wages

The former hostesses, aged in their 20s and 30s, are seeking a labor ruling in the Tokyo District Court, demanding a total of 4.38 million yen in compensation.

According to case documents, one of the former hostesses aged in her 30s joined the club in December 2009, agreeing to a daily wage of 46,000 yen. However her pay was docked by 10 to 100 percent for reasons such as late arrival, leaving early, and failing to reach targets for bringing in customers.

Between January and July this year, she was completely without pay, and had to rely on advance wage payments. With ballooning debts, she left her job at the end of August. The other two former hostesses were in similar positions, and the three joined the Kyabakura Union, a union for hostess club employees. They sought payment of unpaid wages, but negotiations broke down.

Commenting on the case, lawyer Ichiro Natsume said, “The work conditions of the former hostesses were controlled with time cards and their quotas were imposed by the club. Their treatment constitutes a violation of the Labor Standards Law.”