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Nakagusuku workers upset at prospect of no overtime

Date Posted: 2004-03-04

A proposal by Nakagusuku Village Mayor Kiyonori Arakaki to temporarily to eliminate the overtime pay for Village Office workers has the workers’ union up in arms. The mayor says he must find ways to save money as the village budget is Y670 million in debt and he does not know how much subsidies the village is going to get from the central government.

The subsidy amount will be decided in July, and the mayor proposes that the village not pay any overtime until then. The mayor says all ordinary workers at the Village Office should go home at 5 p.m. and that managers could take care of any after hours service or work.

Not so, Union Chairman Masao Ishihara says. “We are regularly ordered to work after 5 p.m. There is work related to tax collection and meetings that have to be taken care of after five. That work is required by law, and the law also requires the village to pay us overtime in those cases. That’s why we can’t accept the mayor’s proposal,” Ishihara said.

Tight fiscal situations have forced some local governments to cut their workers’ salaries or they have in some cases resorted to firing some employees.

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