Labor standards office questions Nova staff to prepare for charges

OSAKA — Osaka Labor Standards Office could as early as Tuesday hear from Nova Co. teachers and staff to decide whether to press charges against the English conversation school giant that continues to be beset by problems, office officials said.

The office asked members of [Tokyo Nambu’s sister union] the General Union, which includes many Nova instructors, for help with the case on Monday.

Last week, the union urged the labor standards office to file a criminal complaint against Nova for breaking the Labor Standards Law.

As of Tuesday, Nova has not paid Japanese staff members due to receive remuneration on Sept. 27 or instructors who were supposed to get their wages on Oct. 15. General Union representatives said Nova President Nozomu Sahashi faxed a letter to employees saying that they would be paid on Thursday.

Also Monday, the General Union gave a briefing to Nova teachers, staff and students in Osaka about the troubles facing Nova, including its late payments, a spate of school closures and bitter contractual spats surrounding students who want to cancel contracts with the company.

About 90 people attended two briefing sessions for staff and teachers. Some 200 students turned up for a briefing in the afternoon. At the meeting, there was a proposal that students create an organization to deal with Nova on a collective basis.