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Base security workers protest treatment

Date Posted: 2008-01-15

Okinawan security workers at U.S. Marine Corps installations in Okinawa have filed a complaint with Self Defense Force officials, charging they are not being given work to do.
Reports circulating among security workers say “there is power harassment going on by one of the superiors,” and more than 150 employees have signed a request for an investigation. The security workers are asking the Okinawa Self Defense Section to look into the supervisor’s policies and procedures, and take action against him.
Workers charge they’re not given meaningful work to perform, but instead are forced to stay inside offices, rewrite textbooks, and do virtually nothing but sit in their chairs for eight hours. The employees say they’re prohibited from reading books or newspapers, complaining “this is harassment of power by those using their positions.”
A member of the group charges the pressures caused one worker to attempt suicide last year because of the mental anguish. They say that worker finally received a document from the supervisor telling him to stop reporting for work, and to retire. The Zenchuro, the All Japan Garrison Workers Union, filed a protest on the man’s behalf, and now the worker has a new job in a new section.
The supervisor insists “we are just doing our work seriously, and have never thought about teasing them (the workers).” He says it “is not true what they are saying.” The supervisor insists the security workers should have come to him and “tell us straight, not go outside. Why didn’t they come to me, but to the outside self defense officials?”

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