• 2023.04.05
  • Labor

Termination of employment and Collective Bargaining with the Union

Outline of the case

When a manufacturer gave notice of termination of employment after five one-year fixed-term employment contracts, the employee joined a union and the union demanded collective bargaining. Article 18 of the Labor Contract Law states that when the total duration of a fixed-term labor contract exceeds five years, the contract may be converted to an employment contract with no fixed term if the worker requests it (right to request indefinite conversion). Thus, in the case of fixed-term employment, the contract can be terminated at the expiration of the period stipulated in the contract, but in the case of an employment contract without a fixed term, the contract cannot be terminated without reasonable and appropriate reasons. The Union, for its part, argued that the labor contract in question was regarded as the same as a fixed-term employment contract in substance and that the notice of termination of the employment contract was invalid as an unjustified termination of employment, since the workers had an expectation of renewal of the contract. In the course of negotiations with the union, the union pointed out that the company’s labor management violated various laws and regulations.

Dispute Resolution through Settlement

After hearing from the company, Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office concluded that it would be appropriate to resolve the dispute amicably through discussion as much as possible and sent a certified letter to the union stating that it was representing the company, and to discuss a schedule for collective bargaining. At the collective bargaining session, it was clearly agreed that the contract was originally a fixed-term employment contract and that the employee would resign at the expiration of the contract term, that there were significant differences between fixed-term contract employees and regular employees in terms of job type, job description, compensation, working hours, etc., and that the company had terminated contracts with other fixed-term contract employees at the expiration of their contract terms, with very few exceptions. f The union argued that there was a legitimate expectation of contract renewal, and discussions remained at a standstill. However, after several rounds of collective bargaining, when the employment contract was about to expire, the company proposed to pay a certain amount of settlement money, which was accepted by the union, and a settlement was reached.

Services offered by Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office

Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office represents employees in collective bargaining negotiations with unions at the request of the company. In the case of a company’s internal labor union, the focus is on negotiations to improve the treatment of union members. However, when an employee who has been dismissed for disciplinary reasons seeks to invalidate the disciplinary action, or when an employee whose fixed-term employment contract has expired sues the company for invalid termination of employment, the employee often joins an external union and seeks collective bargaining in many cases, the employee joins an outside union and seeks collective bargaining. From the standpoint of the employees concerned, they often expect that a union will provide collective bargaining at a lower cost and more quickly than in the case of a labor tribunal or a court case, and that the results of the negotiations will facilitate the fulfillment of their demands. At Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office, we conduct detailed hearings with the company regarding the reasons for the dispute and hold in-depth discussions with the company in advance to determine how the company can respond to the dispute within the provisions of the law. The firm then negotiates collectively on behalf of the company and reaches a settlement with the workers concerned. If the negotiations do not result in a settlement, a labor tribunal or lawsuit will be used to reach a final resolution.

Attorney Fees

General company
Collective bargaining: 400,000 yen (440,000 yen including tax) – 1,000,000 yen (1,100,000 yen including tax)

Clients with whom we have an advisory contract
20% reduction from the above amount