The advice from the IBM JAPAN labor union for all assignees ―― 日本IBM労働組合からアサイニーの皆さんへ


To all assignees in IBM Japan,
We guess you’ve been working hard since you came to IBM Japan to accomplish your mission and to achieve your goals here.
This paper is the labor press published by The All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers’ Union (JMIU), IBM Japan Branch.
Today, we’d like to write here for you several things those you should understand clearly, because we suspect that you may not know the basic rules and responsibilities of the line managers (employers) to be compliant with the
Japanese laws, as we knew and experienced what have been done by the Resource Action Program since last October, the directions from you as well as from executives in IBM Corp. in the United States.
First of all, this IS Japan here, NOT your native country. Japanese Society and Japanese Laws may different from those of your country, especially from the US.
The Labour Standards Law in Japan (Article 18-2) states, A dismissal shall, where the dismissal lacks objectively rational grounds and is not considered to be appropriate in general societal terms, be treated as an misuse of that right and invalid. And the civil court precedents have been already establshed the doctrine of abuse the right of dismissal. There are four requirements for dismissal(*1). However, the big problem is in another place on the Resource Action Program done in Japan. You avoided the abuse of the right of dismissal, but instead, you did or have made the 1st and 2nd line managers do forcing employees to apply early retirement, beyond the limits of suggestions.
The suggestions normally allow the employees to select yes or no according to his/her right of choice, but, despite rejection of early retirement by employees again and again, the extorsive meetings more than three(3) times to push them hard for quitting IBM proved that those were not only the suggestions any more but ‘forcing’ retirement which is againt the Japanese law.
The ‘forcing retirement’ Resource Action Program caused employees the serious emotional distress and mental disease in many cases. In Japan, Several civil court precedents already ordered the companies to pay compensation in damages to plaintiffs in the very similar cases. ‘Forcing’ is obviously against the law (*2) and especially human rights violations in case of pushing by the arbitrary low appraisal or attacking the employees with health problems or physical imperfections. Those cases happened actually here in Japan IBM as you well know.
Secondly, let us tell you about the Japanese Society. In Japan, there was a time that lifetime employment was common in many companies, not too long ago. Therefore, because of not only the economy crisis now, but also the tendency in the Japanese society, the marketplace force for job change is very weak. So called ‘Safety network’ for employment as a social infrustructure is also very weak. Outplacement service does not work for a long time, never works in many cases. That means laborers are forced not to survive in the society. At least, the employees who rejected to apply Resource Action and got the low appraisal and will receive the far lower bonus will be facing the serious hardships of life. However, there are many cases of PBC 4 without any satisfactory nor reasonable explanations of why the low appraisal.
IBM Japan had a wonderful climate until early 1990s, achieving the protection of both employees and their families. “Neoliberalism” is now already collapsed, and what the most important thing for now for corporate managers is to reestablish the principal to be the company that protect employees’ life with the longer-term perspective, by taking good care of an each employee to motivate them. That is the ‘Social Responsibility’ that the big companies should
In Japan, many companies do not buy products of the companies those do not treat their employees with respect. Reputation of IBM in our society directly impacts sales in Japan. To fulfill the social responsibilities is the very key to improve business performance in Japan. We hope you would understand and accept our warnings and suggestions because we all would like to see IBM’s success with you.
(*1) As dismissal is very serious for employees, the court ruled that a valid reason must be given for dismissal when the company wishes to discharge employees against their will, and dismissals which lead to an abuse of authority are not allowed.
Even when a dismissal is due to a reduction in personnel because of a business decline, it needs to satisfy the following requirements.
(1) the reduction in personnel is necessary for the company’s existence and maintenance,
(2) the company has made efforts to avoid dismissals by not hiring new employees or by encouraging early
(3) the basis of the reduction in personnel is rational and also equitable, and persons must be selected logically.
(4) the company has also made efforts to explain to the employees’ satisfaction the rationale of staff reductions and
the necessity of dismissal.
(*2) Civil Code : Chapter 5 Torts
Article 709 (Damages in Torts)
A person who has intentionally or negligently infringed any right of others, or legally protected interest of others, shall be liable to compensate any damanges resulting in consequence.
Article 710 (Compensation for Damages Other than Property)
Persons liable for damages under the provisions of the preceding Article must also compensate for damages other than those to property, regardless of whether the body, liberty or reputation of others have been infringed, or property rights of others have been infringed.





(1) 会社の維持、存続を図るために、人員整理が必要であること。
(2) 新規採用の中止、希望退職の募集など、会社が解雇回避の努力をしたこと。
(3) 人員整理基準が合理的かつ公平で、人選も合理的であること。
(4) 労働者に解雇の必要性や整理基準などについて十分説明をし、納得を得る努力をしたこと。
(*2)民法 第5章不法行為