Tozen Gaba Workers Union in Dispute with Gaba 全国一般東京ゼネラルユニオンGABA労働組合はGABAに対して労働紛争

The Tozen GABA Workers Union is officially in dispute with the company over it’s unfair disciplinary action (不当懲戒処分) against Local Executive President Tyler Christensen.

We are fighting for the right to work unpaid overtime.

Say what?

Yes, we are fighting for the right to work unpaid overtime without facing discipline from the company.

Gaba asks instructors to finish student records by the end of a 5 minute unpaid break between lessons. This sort of theft of workers’ break times is all too common in the language industry and at workplaces across Japan.

Gaba forces instructors to compete with one another for clients. These lesson records help instructors keep Gaba’s customers happy, so they have to do a good job.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, some instructors choose to do what they can during their break time, finishing their lesson records after work. Gaba pays their instructors nothing for this.

Since 2004 Tyler has chosen to stay late. He has put his communication skills to use, coordinating his efforts with the other staff at the Yokohama Gaba school.

For almost a decade Tyler was not once disciplined for staying late. Indeed, he had been rewarded with several promotions, and currently earns the highest pay an instructor is allowed in the Gaba system.

In 2012, the Tozen Gaba Workers’ Union declared itself to management and began bargaining. In early 2013, the union elected Tyler as its president.

A few months later, the company began attacking Tyler, disciplining him for working late. They issued him three letters threatening to fire him if he doesn’t comply with a 20 minute limit on his unpaid overtime.

At Tozen, members’ job security is a top priority. The union responded by demanding Tyler be treated as another staff member would be in this situation.

We demand:
• a retraction of all disciplinary letters
• a key for Tyler to borrow, as other staff are allowed to do, in case he has to work late
• an explanation of the segregation system between instructors and staff at Gaba, a system they refer to as a “gyomu itaku” system.

Gaba has refused to compromise on any of these demands. Our last settlement offer came down to asking Gaba to give Tyler 10 more minutes to finish his lesson records.

Gaba said no.

Tozen Union will not accept a company threatening the job of one of our members for something as absurd as needing an extra ten minutes to finish up his work. Join our fight to stop Gaba’s unfair discipline.

Field Director: