Tozen Union Joins Contingent Worker Alliance for Demo, Presser


Tokyo, Feb. 9, 2024 – Tozen Union

  • Tozen Union and other unions in the Hiseiki Shunto Alliance demanded that Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) stop exploiting those working on fixed-term, temporary, day-labor, short-hour, outsourcing and other contracts lacking job or income security.
  • The contingent workers unions staged a protest in front of federation’s Tokyo headquarters in front of several major news outlets before then moving to a press conference on the ninth floor of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor.

Tozen fights back against Gaba’s vicious penalties

On Monday 4th December 2023, members of Tozen’s Gaba local took to the streets to protest and fight for their wellbeing.

The video below includes speeches from organiser Louis Carlet, Gaba local President Musashi Sakazaki, and Gaba local General Secretary Mitch Brown.


Mainichi Shimbun cover Tozen’s fight for 10% pay rise

Article written by 東海林智, and originally featured here.



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Tozen Daigaku: Civil Service Trade Union Rights (Fiscal Year Appointee System)

In April of 2020, the Japanese government amended local civil service law, reclassifying direct hire ALTs at public schools as “fiscal year appointees.” This so-called reform stripped these ALTs, and all others who labour under the new classification, of their trade union rights. Fiscal year appointees in the new system can no longer demand collective bargaining, conclude agreements with management, or enter into labour disputes. As a result, our ALTs who work for the Tokyo Board of Education were stripped of their right to collective bargaining.

2020年4月、日本政府は地方公務員法を改正し、公立学校において直接雇用されているALT講師を「会計年度任用職員」に再分類しました。 この変更は、これらのALT講師と、新しい分類の下で働くすべての労働者から労働組合の権利を剥奪するものでした。この新しい制度の下では、会計年度任用職員は団体交渉を要求したり、経営陣と協定を締結したり、労働争議をすることができなくなります。その結果として、東京教育委員会に勤務するALT講師は団体交渉権を剥奪されました。

Tozen Union is fighting back.

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Tozen Gaba Workers Union steps up dispute for higher wages, against forced registration

Tozen Union and its local Gaba Workers Union protested today (Tuesday, July 18, 2023) in front of language school Gaba’s Fujisawa Learning Studio.

A dozen teachers braved searing heat on the streets of Fujisawa, demanding a 200/yen per lesson raise and that Gaba stop pushing instructors to register as an “invoice-issuing business.” The language school does this to shift a new tax burden onto its low-paid teachers who would have to pay consumption tax they are currently exempt from paying. The company threatens lower pay and even firing to those instructors who fail to comply.

The company already treats instructors as private businesses on gyomu itaku contracts in order to avoid all obligations under labor law. The company claims to outsourceg its main business – teaching English. It’s not clear then what Gaba does as its business.

Gaba instructors have not had a raise since 2008, and and need one now more than ever due to recent inflation.

For more info on how to support us, contact union rep Louis Carlet at

Tozen Union Rallies to Restore Trade Union Rights of Direct Hire ALTs


On Sunday, January 29, Tozen Union, our legal team, and our supporters held a rally to launch our campaign to restore Trade Union Rights to Direct Hire ALTs.

In April 2020, local civil service law was amended and direct hire ALTs around the country were classified as “fiscal-year appointees.” Prior to this change, direct hire ALTs had the right to join a union and demand collective bargaining. This so-called “reform” stripped them of those basic labour rights.

Tozen Union demanded that Tokyo Board of Education meet for collective bargaining in July of 2020. The board refused, and the union sued in Tokyo Labour commission. The case was dismissed late last year in light of the legal amendment. Tozen plans to sue in court to overturn this unconstitutional decision. Our goal is to restore trade union rights not only for fiscal-year appointees, but all civil servants.

We need your help.
Please contact case officer Gerome Rothman at to find out what you can do.

Le responsable financier et enseignant de longue date du Tozen UPL poursuit le Lycée Français International de Tokyo devant le tribunal du district de Tokyo.

Monsieur Steven Ritchie, enseignant de longue date et responsable financier au Tozen UPL, poursuit le Lycée Français International de Tokyo devant le tribunal du district de Tokyo, pour la déduction illégale d’un jour de salaire et le refus de payer des heures supplémentaires.

Monsieur Ritchie a rempli un formulaire scolaire pour prendre son premier jour de congé personnel en 13 ans afin d’assister à la journée sportive de son enfant, cependant, Monsieur Gilles Sansebastien, ancien directeur de l’école primaire et supérieur immédiat de Monsieur Ritchie, a informé ce dernier que la “journée sportive de son fils” n’était pas une raison acceptable pour un congé payé l’obligeant a prendre un jour de congé non payé à la place.

Monsieur Ritchie a informé Monsieur Sansebastien, le directeur des finances et le proviseur de l’établissement que l’article de loi sur les normes du travail qui lui donnait le droit de prendre un jour de congé payé mais en vain.

Il ne s’agit pas d’un combat pour un seul employé mais pour tous les travailleurs du Lycée Français International de Tokyo. La direction doit suivre les lois du Japon et respecter les droits de ses employés.

Tozen UPL Finance officer and long serving teacher sues Tokyo French international school in Tokyo District court

Mr. Steven Ritchie, a long serving teacher and Finance officer in Tozen UPL is suing Lycee Francais International de Tokyo in Tokyo District Court, for the illegal deduction of a day’s pay and refusal to pay overtime.

Steven completed a school form to take his first personal day in 13 years to attend his child’s sports day.  Mr. Gilles Sansebastien, former director of the Primary school and Mr. Ritchie’s immediate supervisor, informed him that his ‘son’s Sport Day’ was not an acceptable reason for a paid holiday but he would let him take an unpaid day instead.

Mr. Ritchie informed Mr. Gilles Sansebastien, the Director of Finance, and the Headmaster of the school, of the exact article in the Labor Standards Act that gave him the right to take a paid holiday.  Regardless of this, management denied him the universal right in Japan, of taking a paid holiday.

This is not a fight for a single employee but for all the workers at Lycee Francais International de Tokyo. Management needs to follow the laws of Japan and respect the rights of its workers.

Tozen Daigaku: How bosses screw with your work hours! 東ゼン大学:会社による労働時間制度変更時の注意点!

Attorney Kinoshita Tetsuro talks us through various changes to the work hour system.

Overview of the working time system(日本語)

Tozen organiser interviewed by scientific journal, Nature

In the article ‘I feel disposable’: Thousands of scientists’ jobs at risk in Japan, about universities terminating workers on fixed-term contracts, Tozen organiser Louis Carlet was interviewed and gave an explanation on how universities have responded to the 5/10-year rule.

Read the full article here