High Court Overturns Shane Dismissal of Tozen Union Activist

The Tokyo High Court today (Oct. 9) overturned the lower court’s verdict in a dismissal case against Shane. The eikaiwa language school in 2017 fired Adam Cleeve, president of Tozen’s Shane Workers Union.

Tokyo District Court upheld the ruling and ignored union claims of strike-busting. Shane fired Adam in effect for actively participating in the union’s strike, a point not lost on the court.

Judge Murakami threw out nearly every one of Shane’s assertions, and invalidated their illegal designated paid leave system.

The court ordered Shane to pay all back wages from March 2017 until the verdict and to take Adam back to work. Shane is likely to appeal the Supreme Court, but that court is unlikely even to hear the case.

“I am excited to get back to work and resume our struggle for better working conditions,” Adam told reporters at a press conference after the verdict came down.

Tozen Union senior organizer Louis Carlet said, “A shout-out to all our members at Shane for their solidarity, tenacity and resilience thus far.”

“This is the first step in bringing about real change at Shane. Now is the time to recruit and build a force that can finally boost conditions for all teachers and counselors,” he added.