Revive Japan Labor Unions and Dismantle All Nuclear Reactors! Statement #44 From Japan Railway Union Doro-Chiba
Revive Japan Labor Unions and Dismantle All Nuclear Reactors! Statement #44 From Japan Railway Union Doro-Chiba
Revive Japan Labor Unions and
Dismantle All Nuclear Reactors!
Take back labor solidarity
and crush neo-liberalism!
Doro Chiba Quake Report No. 44
Revive Labor Unions and
Dismantle All Nuclear Reactors!
Take back labor solidarity
and crush neo-liberalism!
1 Confrontation to radioactive-exposed work is the vital issue of all the workers
400,000 nuclear plant workers are exposed to radioactivity
Disposal work of debris has made it a national issue
The number of the workers who are contaminated through the work in nuclear plant has increased during the 1980’ and further in the first half of 1990’s and stayed in high level till today. In the last thirty years, 1.3 million workers have been engaged in nuclear plants in all and one third or at least one fourth of them are said to have been radioactively contaminated. In actual figure it amounts to 300,000 or 400,000 workers.
Capitalist society is based upon the profit gained by capitalists through exploitation of workers as labor power commodity. In case of “irradiated labor”, or labor exposed to radioactive contamination, it is not a simple matter of exploitation. Nuclear plant workers are steadily driven to death in their daily work. All through the process of labor, they must suffer from physical as well as mental damage, which accumulates the causes of their approaching death in their soul and body. Though labor is in its essence an expression of human life and power, nuclear plant labor itself is an activity to hurt and ruin workers in every moment. It is an outrageous inversion and deformation of human activity and life.
The issue of “irradiated labor”, or labor exposed to radioactive contamination, has now become a problem of common and general interest for workers and inhabitants not only of nuclear plants and radioactively-hit regions but also for workers in all kind of work places and every areas of Japan, as Noda administration pushes forward a policy of “wide area solution of debris disposal” to remove a huge amount of contaminated rubbles from the stricken regions to the other part of Japan. Among others, the most seriously concerned workers are transport workers, such as JR (Japan Railway Company) Freight, municipality workers, education workers and postal workers who are forced to deal with contamination in respective ways. A harsh confrontation in work place as well as in community is inevitable against governmental attempt of coercion of radioactive contamination on working people.
Abolish nuclear plants in succession of militant tradition of Den-san (Electric Power Workers Union)
How should working class and labor union fight against the crucial issue of “irradiated labor”?
We have already two exemplar struggles: one is the strike waged by Doro-Mito (National Railway Motive Power Union of Mito) against the compulsion of “irradiated labor” last October; the other is daily struggle of Koriyama Railway Factory workers of Kokuro (National Railway Workers Union) under heavy contamination in a region about 60 km far from Fukushima Daiichi. These struggles have clearly shown how to fight nuclear plant as labor union.
It is an unpardonable surrender to the capital and the state to accept to work for “irradiated labor”. We need to reconstruct militant labor union and labor movement to confront “irradiated labor” in order to defend workers’ lives by their own power.
The struggle against “irradiated labor” surely opens up a way to force capital and state to abolish all nuclear plants. Without uprising of nuclear plant workers, complete abolition of nuclear plants is impossible.
It should be made clear that we need, for the achievement of organizing nuclear plant workers, to overthrow the corrupt leadership of electric industry labor union who is playing the major role of promoting nuclear plant business. The Denryoku-Soren (Confederation of Electric Power Related Industry Workers Union of Japan), which abandons its responsibility for the defense of workers health and life, doesn’t deserve the name of labor union!
We call on all workers of electric-industry-related work place to rise up for a struggle to restore militant labor union, beyond the wall of unionized or non-unionized workers, of regular or irregular job. Our effort should be concentrated to transform the existing union, Denryoku-Soren, from the bottom by the power of rank and file workers.
Through this struggle we’ll surely be able to overcome the once dominant policy based on the false ideology of “nuclear energy for peaceful purpose” (or “Atoms for Peace”) advocated essentially by Japan Communist Party. It is not enough to criticize the above-mentioned policy by saying, “Construction of nuclear plant is aimed at nuclear re-armament of Japan”. The core problem is that nuclear plant can’t exist without “irradiated labor” of workers. The fatal point of the “peaceful purpose” policy lies on the recognition of “irradiated labor”, which means destruction of health and life of working class. This was the common defect and weakness of the post-war labor movement as well as anti-nuke, anti-nuclear plant movement in Japan.
Now labor union should make it the crucial and fundamental agenda of its own to tackle with the issue of “irradiated labor”, inner contamination and low-level contamination.
The burning task of labor union is to fight against neo-liberal offensive whose pillar is nuclear energy politic as well as privatization, outsourcing and casualization of jobs, now becoming crucial issue in the national railway struggle against JR (Japan Railway) Companies. The struggle against neo-liberal capitalist offensive is a common task of all workers with two fundamental issues: national railway struggle against privatization, outsourcing and casualization of jobs; struggle against nuclear plant and “irradiated labor”.
Through developing the struggle of labor unions against “irradiated labor”, a large part of experts and engineers in nuclear industry and research etc. will join us. Then we’ll be able to build up a wide front to carry out complete abolition of nuclear plants all over Japan and the whole world.
We must overcome a narrow idea of realizing our purpose within the framework of capitalism. Also international solidarity and unity is indispensable. It could be possible, for example, through establishing a “Committee to Abolish Nuclear Plant” and organizing a wide range of anti-nuke movement with a common aim of defense of health and life from radioactive contamination together with labor unions, expert groups, and various interested organizations.
NAZEN (No-Nuke Zenkoku [National] Network) declares in its founding document: “Let’s gather all wisdom for our common cause”.
The struggle to abolish nuclear plant embodies the self-liberation struggle of proletariat for the final emancipation of human beings.
Our slogan is: “Abolish all nuclear plant immediately!”
Let’s fight together!
2. The fundamental characteristics of nuclear is an indiscriminating mass killing
Workers are irreconcilable with capitalists over the crucial nuclear issue
The time has come for working class people to fight against ruling capitalist class
Regardless whether it is a nuclear weapon or a nuclear plant, the fundamental characteristics of nuclear power is one and the same—an indiscriminating and ultimate means of mass killing of people.
Nuclear energy was first employed as nuclear weapon during the World War II. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed an incredible number of people. The immediate death toll was 120,000 in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki. Then in the five years, 200,000 people in Hiroshima and 140,000 people in Nagasaki died. Approximately 48% of the population in Hiroshima and 58% in Nagasaki were killed. Even now, after over half a century, many hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivors) are dying away.
In spite of these bitter experiences, Japanese ruling class decided to develop nuclear energy with hidden intention of nuclear armament through construction of nuclear plants. Nuclear power plants, however, exist only at the sacrifice of workers who are constantly exposed to radiation. Since the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11 last year, the children and people in Fukushima have been forcibly exposed to radioactive contamination every day.
In spite of such a crucial and lasting situation, Noda administration enforced the restart of nuclear plants in Oi, shamelessly defying the anger of a vast majority of Japanese people with Fukushima people at the forefront. System-friendly scholars bribed by government and capital are playing the role of concealing the risk of radiation exposure, saying, “There is no immediate hazardous effect on health under the present condition of Fukushima”. Needless to say, saving the life of children should be the matter of the highest priority. But the ruling capitalist class cares nothing about the Fukushima children or “irradiated workers” engaged in dangerous labor in nuclear plants. Their matter of overriding concern is their profit and nothing else. This is what neoliberalism is all about.
The accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant clearly and mercilessly revealed the fact that the existence of human beings and nuclear power are incompatible with each other. Through the issue of nuclear power, workers and capitalists have become decisively irreconcilable. The survivors of atomic bombs of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Bikini, who were forced to suffer from the horrible consequences, have been continuously opposing against the use of nuclear energy. The workers who are contaminated through the work in nuclear plants are now standing up to raise their voices and to speak out their hardships and the danger of radiation. The struggle to oppose against nuclear power plants led by Fukushima mothers is now becoming a huge ground swell which has engulfed the people of Japan and the whole world.
The time has come for working class people to decisively fight against ruling capitalist class!
We should share the anger against nuclear weapons and plants and fight together in unity and solidarity with all the people in the world
After the World War II, nuclear capability has become the fundamental tool of diplomatic and military confrontation among imperialist countries. In fact, the countries that have currently seats in the U.N. Security Council are all nuclear-armed states. What is more, they have repeatedly been poised on the brinks of using nuclear weapons—at the time of Korean War, Cuban Crisis, Vietnam War, Middle East War, so-called “anti-terrorism war” after the September 11 in 2001 and so forth.
The capitalist/imperialist countries have sustained their domination over the world by using the threat of nuclear weapons. In the post-World War II period a series of revolutionary upheavals occurred in many regions of the world. But capitalists each time brutally crushed the struggle of working class by the threat of nuclear weapons, ultimate means of mass slaughter. To counter imperialist threat by nuclear weapons, Stalinists headed by the Soviet Union desperately rushed to develop and possess nuclear capabilities to gain superiority over the rival superpower. Stalinists who distrust and even suppress revolutionary power of world proletariat needed nuclear weapon as counter-measures to imperialist menace and also as a means to threaten possible revolutionary uprising of workers at home against them.
Working class should set the highest priority on the struggle of working class to abolish nuclear powers by international solidarity and fight against capitalists’ nuclear capabilities. Working class people should be united under the Marxist slogan, “Workers of the world unite!” In spite of that, Stalinists put out a strategy of “socialism in one country” opposing the international solidarity of working class and fiercely plunged into a nuclear arms race with imperialists. The present stance of North Korean’s Stalinism is following the same way as the former USSR Stalinists. The revolutionary strategy of anti-Stalinism and anti-imperialism is the only way to fundamentally change the world.
Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US president, wherever he goes around the world, is always followed by several dozen of retinue, including a uniformed military officer among others. He carries a big black briefcase called “nuclear football”, the contents of which are instruments to give final order of the US president of a nuclear attack while away from fixed command centers. It shows the US is desperately pushing forward its military confrontation policy especially in Asia against China to overcome its apparent decline. The menace of a nuclear war is still imminent.
The Japanese anti-war and anti-nuke movement, which started with the slogan, “No more Hiroshima, no more Nagasaki”, is now joining upheaval of the struggle against nuclear plant with angry voices of “No more Fukushima”.
With eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory, lets’ fight together to create a nuclear free world!
3 Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and nuclear plant: major weak point of Japanese imperialism
Noda restarts nuclear plant “for the reason of (national) security”
Prime Minister Noda publicly proclaimed in his administrative policy speech on December 1 that the government would restart nuclear plants “from the viewpoint of economic impact, environmental protection and national security”. The problem here was evidently not about conventional arms but about nuclear arms as the issue was nuclear plant. It was the first time that incumbent prime minister went so far as to declare openly that nuclear plant has implication for security. He dared to refer to the restarting of nuclear plants on the ground of “the necessity of nuclear armament” even after the terrible disaster caused by Fukushima nuclear accident.
Pushing ahead the nuclear plant policy, Japanese imperialism has been seeking to equip itself with nuclear arms. Yasuhiro Nakasone who introduced the first nuclear budget in 1954 was reported “to have an interest in nuclear arms especially in tiny nuclear bombs”. Nobusuke Kish who assumed the post of prime minister from 1957, known as outspoken advocate of nuclear armament together with Nakasone, insisted in his memoir as follows:
“Nuclear technology itself can be used both for peaceful and military purposes. The choice between the two depends on the policy and decision of the state. Though Japan has made it the national consensus of the state and people not to utilize nuclear power as weapon and to limit its use exclusively for peaceful purpose, the possibility of its military use will certainly increase with the inevitable development of nuclear technology in the future.”
In 1969, an internal document of Foreign Ministry confirmed, “Japan will be always holding its potential to maintain economic and technological prowess to produce nuclear weapons.”
Defeated in the Second World War, Japanese imperialism could not openly disclose its intention of arming itself with nuclear weapons like the victorious imperialist powers. In the post-war world, however, the nuclear arms have constituted basic means of military and foreign policy for imperialist powers to be competitive. Japanese Imperialism followed two paths to survive as imperialism: one is maintaining and strengthening of the security partnership of Japan and United States; and the other is promotion of nuclear power plant construction, whose underlying intention was to obtain nuclear arms capability. Promotion of nuclear power plant meant and still means for Japanese imperialism nothing other than “disguised nuclear armament”.
Strengthening of Japan-U.S. Security Alliance in a closed link with nuclear fuel cycle project
Since the 80s Japanese imperialism has been developing nuclear fuel cycle project that could provide Japanese military forces with plutonium and manufacturing of rocket, which is as competent as ICBM. Importation of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel used to be subject to the approval of U.S. government. But new Japan-U.S. agreement that came into effect in 1988 dropped the need for this approval.
Since the 70s, Japan-US economic confrontation has gradually been escalated into overt conflict and finally expanded into the divergence over Japan-U.S. Security Alliance and the issue of nuclear power plant construction. U.S. Imperialism has never allowed Japan’s contestation against U.S. policy and sought to mobilize Japan at the convenience of U.S. On the other hand, Japanese imperialism, while insisting upon Japan’s independent position from U.S., has deepened its crisis under the strong pressure from U.S. It had long been absolutely imperative for Japanese Imperialism to maintain Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and to promote vigorous construction program of nuclear plants. But now these two vital pillars for Japanese imperialism have turned into heel of Achilles.
These two weakest points mean strategic target for us to attack Japanese imperialism and achieve proletarian revolution.
Although Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is already wrecked as is indicated by the deadlock of Japanese defense policy hit by the fierce struggle of Okinawa people against the planned construction of Henoko new base, U.S.-Japanese imperialism are still trying to expand U.S. bases at the intolerable sacrifice of people of Okinawa. Meanwhile, Japanese Imperialism is desperately rushing to restart nuclear plants and even export them abroad, while people of Fukushima are suffering catastrophic aftermath of the disaster and exposed to heavy radioactivity in their daily life.
Let’s develop struggle against U.S. bases with Okinawan people at the forefront and the struggle for decommissioning of reactor with the people of Fukushima at the head. Let’s develop these struggles as strategic struggles for the victory of Japanese Proletarian Revolution as a stronghold of World Proletarian Revolution.
4 TEPCO capital, responsible for Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, is promoter of irregular employment
National Railway Privatization triggered a series of nuclear plant accidents
It is a significant fact that major accidents of nuclear power plants occurred in succession since the division and privatization of National Railways (in 1987). In the preceding period, the frequency of nuclear power plants’ accidents over level 2 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) was usually about once in a decade. It has rapidly increased, however, since the late eighties.
Five major accidents of nuclear power plants took place within only two years and a half, namely, the accident of Fukushima No.2 nuclear power plant Reactor 3 in January 1989 and others, including the accident of Hamaoka nuclear power plant Reactor 3 in May 1991. Thereafter, many grave accidents followed and finally in 2002 all nuclear reactors of TEPCO stopped because of a disclosure of the fact that the then president of TEPCO had concealed a serious nuclear plant accident and was obliged to resign. In spite of this fatal failure, TEPCO, helped by the government, took no serious measure to improve the situation. These developments actually ended in causing the catastrophe of March 11.
High frequency of nuclear power plants’ accident since the late eighties was not accidental but due to intensifying of neo-liberalism offensive. Though we are aware the nuclear power and also nuclear facilities are originally beyond human control, neo-liberalism ignores this undeniable fact and desperately seeks profit in negligence of industrial safety at the sacrifice of workers in work place and of the life of all inhabitants. Neo-liberal policy has undermined and destroyed the labor right and unity of workers in the name of capitals’ “freedom”, and demanded the abolition of regulation on capital’s movement in quest of profit under the protection of the state power. Workers’ right and social security system, which were obtained by class struggle in the post-war upheaval, became target of neo-liberal offensives due to the drastic policy change of Japanese imperialism in the last half of 1980’. Its aim was to exploit workers without restraint and deprive them of their invested right by neo-liberal attack. The reason why the bourgeoisie changed its policy of class rule is because the development of economy, politics and society after World War II entirely reached a historical stalemate in the world and in Japan in the 1980’s.
Replacing the previous restriction by state against capital, namely the policy of state-monopoly capitalism, they have sought to increase capital profit to an extreme without restriction as a matter of highest priority. Subsequently, the safety of nuclear power plant and facilities was completely ignored, abandoned and devastated. Thus concealment of frequent nuclear plant accident has become an ordinary procedure and falsification of failure records has become the order of the day. Already in nineties major nuclear plant accident, like Fukushima Daiichi disaster, could have happened at every moment. We had been rescued by no occurrence of big earthquake. Neo-liberalism is the true culprit.
Social foundations shaken by deregulation and casualization
“Hiraiwa Report” was issued in 1993. Late HIRAIWA Gaishi was president of TEPCO from 1976, chairman of TEPCO from 1984, and chairman of the Federation of Economic Organization from 1990. He was the most powerful boss of electric power capitals in Japan. It was the epoch-making report.
“Hiraiwa Report” listed the laws that should be deregulated or abolished. Those listed laws include especially Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law and Radiation Hazard Prevention Act, etc. concerning nuclear power plant, and also Labor Standards Act and Worker Dispatching Act concerning workers’ right.
It has three aims: 1) The whole society and the system should be reconstructed by means of deregulation and abolition of restrictions on “free movement” of capital; 2) Irregular employment, subcontracting of workers and precarious working conditions, practiced typically in nuclear industry, should be expanded to other fields of industry and to generalize it as common rule; 3) Legalization of abuse of nuclear plant workers by electric companies to disguise the extremely brutal and extraordinary exploitation of nuclear power plants’ workers, exploitation in flagrant violation of labor law..
These deregulation measures has been followed by Koizumi’s (prime minister 2001~2006) “Structural Reform”, and the privatization, outsourcing offensive of JR (Japan Railway Company) and NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Cooperation). [Just two years later in 1995, a notorious Report of Nikkeiren (Japan Federation of Employers’ Association), “Japanese Management in the New Age” was published and defiantly declared to thrust 90 % out of Japanese total labor power into irregular employment in coming years.]
Thus corporate rush began to put 90 percent of the entire workforce into irregular employment.
The result is complete destruction of social foundations, such as employment, education, social welfare, and health care system, especially enormous increase of irregular employment in the whole Japanese society. Worker Dispatching Act was revised many times. This offensive has brought about a reality, in which 38.7 percent of the entire working population has been thrust into irregular employment. 91.3 percent of male workers between 20 years old and 24 years old earn only a wage at or below 200 thousand yen ($2 thousand) a month. It is true that neo-liberalism does not let worker, especially young worker live a human life.
As is proved above, TEPCO is not only responsible for the unprecedented nuclear accident in Fukushima but also for the reality as the result of deregulation, which electric companies spearheaded.
We have recently experienced three waves of neo-liberal offensives: the first was the Division and Privatization of National Railways in 1980’s; the second was the attack of deregulation in 1990’s; the third was Koizumi’s “Structural Reform” and the rush of privatization and outsourcing since 2001. Now the time has come we fight back neo-liberal offensive once and for all through carrying out national railway struggle, anti-nuke struggle and the struggle to demand abolition of irregular employment. Our common enemy is neo-liberalism that is the last resort of imperialism in death agony.
5 Set up class struggle labor union
National Railway Struggle is its major pillar
Nuclear plants were constructed only after crushing militant labor union of electric industry
Significant position of national railway struggle
Revitalization of labor union and labor movement is an essential task for the struggle to crush restart of nuclear plants and to abolish all nuclear facilities. Labor union and labor movement should play a central role in confronting neo-liberal offensives and rallying all angry students, farmers, and inhabitants. The post-war history of the promotion and development of nuclear policy and nuclear plants teaches us that labor union occupies the key position in the non-nuke struggle.
The major player of the post-war revolutionary upheaval of labor movement in Japan was, together with national railway workers unions, Den-san (All Japan Electric Industry Workers Union), which comprised all workers employed in electric industry, including power generation, distribution, engineering, management etc. In a single national industrial union, labor unity was achieved beyond the barrier of different branches and the division between regular and irregular employees, with its 180,000 union members, among them there was a large number of revolutionary union activists. Den-san repeated electric power stoppage to give a terrible blow to industrial capitalists and encouraged all Japanese working class by its militant and exemplar struggle at the point of production all through the post-war revolutionary period culminated in the failed strike on February 1, 1947.
Japanese ruling class together with the US occupation forces felt it urgent to break up Den-san union in order to suppress raging labor movement and launched “red purge” (red baiting) with the major target on Den-san. In line with this extremely brutal union busting, a scheme of division and privatization of electric industry was carried out. The governmental plan of “reorganizing electric industry” was materialized finally in 1952 and 9 separate electric companies were set up as a result of breaking up of a single national electric utility and of subsequent disruption of Den-san, an industrial labor union, which fought against this assault by 86 day’ strike but was finally defeated.
It is to be noted that the process of union busting coupled with division and privatization of electric industry went parallel with the governmental and industrial promotion of nuclear policy in the name of “Atom for Peace” (peaceful use of nuclear energy). In 1956, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum was established with the head of TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Company) participating.
Not to forget, these moves were vehement reaction of the Japanese ruling class to the stormy rise of anti-nuke movement triggered by the Bikini Atoll US nuclear test in 1954 which caused a terrible disaster all over the Pacific Ocean and severely hit a Japanese fisher boat. One of the crew on board died several months later apparently because of contamination.
Meanwhile, we must mention that Japan Communist Party contributed to the promotion of nuclear power policy as imperialist strategy in two ways: it betrayed the revolutionary uprising of Japanese working class highlighted in the planned and failed general strike in 1947 in support of US occupation forces (JCP named it “liberation force”) and ended in succumbing to the subsequent red baiting; it welcomed the governmental nuclear policy in the name of “Atom for Peace”. In 1961, when USSR waged an atomic bomb test, JCP openly and promptly supported it, saying, “It is a clean nuclear weapon”.
Our present struggle is to overturn all these previous developments at the sacrifice of working class people supported by system-friendly political parties and labor unions.
The Division and Privatization of National Railways in 1987 was designed and carried out after the preceding example of the division and privatization of electric industry and union busting in 1950’s. From the beginning of 1980’s, a systematic campaign was organized to attack and destroy Kokuro (National Railway Workers Union), a major force of railway workers struggle, through demagogic propaganda that a huge amount of debt of National Railways was due to lazy and foul unionist workers of Kokuro who were fiercely engaged in union activity instead of working for the railway service, etc. Among several labor unions of national railway workers, it was not the major union, Kokuro, but Doro-Chiba (National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba with about 1500 members at that time), an independent union that fought squarely against the offensive of division and privatization by repeated strikes. After all, the Division and Privatization of National Railways was forcibly carried out and Kokuro suffered a terrible blow because of its surrender to the attack and the number of its union member sharply decreased from 250,000 to 44,000 in a few years. In 1989, Sohyo (General Council of Trade Unions of Japan), a national labor center founded in 1950 and represented Japanese labor movement for decades (Kokuro played an essential role in it) disbanded itself and was replaced by Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), under the leadership of labor-capital cooperative orientation, which fully supports neo-liberal agenda of Japanese business circle and the state power.
It is a remarkable fact that Denryoku-Soren (Confederation of Electric Power Related Industry Workers Union of Japan) and also Denki-Rengo (Japanese Electrical, Electronic and Information Union) have been spearheading the state policy of promoting nuclear plant construction as business unions in total negligence of protecting nuclear plant workers from radioactive contamination. These corrupt union bureaucrats are responsible for the nuclear disaster in Fukushima because of their shameless and dirty cooperation with electric companies.
The major power that has been confronting the governmental offensive is national railway struggle represented by 1047 unjustly and unlawfully dismissed workers with Doro-Chiba at the forefront, a consistent struggle against the Division and Privatization of National Railways since 1987.
In 2010, an outrageous attempt was made to put an end to this uncompromising struggle through “April 9th political settlement” jointly produced by political parties and corrupt labor leadership, including Kokuro. The settlement plan suggested that the demand of reinstatement of 1047 railway workers be dropped in exchange for an insignificant amount of compensation money. To fight back this shameless betrayal and attack, militant railway workers launched a Nationwide Campaign of National Railway Workers’ Struggle on June 2010 with slogans, “Don’t put out the fire of national railway struggle” “Crush neo-liberal offensives by the power of national railway struggle”, and called upon all the Japanese workers to join the movement in defense of 1047 dismissed workers and also to revitalize labor movement to defend the life and interest of Japanese working class under severe capitalist offensive of outsourcing, casualization, wage-cut, union busting, etc.
March 11 urged labor movement to act on an unprecedented catastrophe and rise up for Fukushima people under terrible disaster. National railway workers headed by Doro-Chiba and Doro-Mito together with Nationwide Campaign of National Railway Workers’ Struggle issued an appeal to fight with Fukushima people to defend their lives and at the same time against TEPCO and Japanese government that caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident and refuse to take responsibility for all the subsequent casualties upon a huge number of affected families. On the big rally of Nationwide Campaign of National Railway Workers’ Struggle held on June 2011, three months after the disaster, people from Fukushima appeared on the stage with a flag, saying, “We are angry”.
Thus successful unity and solidarity of national railway struggle and anti-nuke struggle has been achieved. This will be the decisive power to crush nuclear policy of Japanese imperialism and brutal attack on working class people. In other words, an effective and militant united front is being established against neo-liberal offensive of imperialism in death agony.
Stop restart of nuclear reactors and maneuver of Osaka City Mayor Hashimoto
Hashimoto, Osaka City Mayor, is making dirty maneuver to promote nuclear policy. In the discussions over the issue of restarting Oi nuclear plant (Oi is located in the neighboring prefecture of Osaka), Hashimoto, convinced constitutional revisionist (demanding to delete the “peace clause”) and ardent advocate of nuclear armament, pretended to be harshly opposed to the restart of Oi nuclear plant “in the name of Osaka citizens” in press conference and other occasions. It was disclosed, however, the letter of Osaka City to the government on the nuclear issue included no word of “no to restart of nuclear plant”. Finally Hashimoto ended in playing an active role in persuading governors and mayors of other adjoining provinces and cities to accept the restart of Oi nuclear plant on June.
Furious workers of Osaka with municipal workers at the head have risen to a resolute confrontation against Hashimoto who is spearheading neo-liberal offensive, represented by his plan of mass dismissal of public service workers and brutal union busting.
Thus anti-nuke struggle is inevitably combined with the struggle in work place. Also on campus, a fresh struggle has been launched in Kyoto University to expel bribed professors who work as promoters of nuclear policy and agent of nuclear industry, or electric companies.
The national railway struggle and the struggle against nuclear plant have been joining together to confront the common enemy, neo-liberal offensive as a last resort of imperialism in a global economic crisis that indicates that the historical life of imperialism, or the last stage of capitalism, has already been exhausted and the time of proletarian world liberation has come.
[Special Number of International Labor Movement: Chapter IV of “Dismantle All Nuclear Reactors through Revitalizing Labor Union”]