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Base workers, prefecture map future without bases

Date Posted: 2001-05-18

The Okinawa Prefectural Government and representatives of the base workers held the first meeting of its kind last Wednesday, to discuss on measures to be taken for securing the employment of the on-base workers in the event of the return of the U.S. bases.

In this meeting, the chairman of the Base Employees Labor Union of Okinawa, Kiyoshi Tamagusuku and other representatives of the workers made a proposal on programs that should be enacted should the bases close. The prefecture officials are scheduled to conclude the meetings by the end of this month in order to formulate a basis for the upcoming official discussions, and to prepare for the submission of the Okinawa development plan to the national government in June.

The Union demanded that that the government notifies the employees at least three years before the closure of the bases and urges them to look for other jobs. Should finding equal employment prove difficult, the unions demand that the government must secure the workers’ lives for three years after the return, and be responsible for their new jobs.

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