Labour Lawyers Association of Japan(LLAJ)

Labour Lawyers Association of Japan(LLAJ)
4F Rengo-Kaikan, 3-2-11 Kanda-Surugadai Chiyoda-ku TOKYO JAPAN

1. What is LLAJ ?
The LLAJ is an organization formed by lawyers across Japan with the aim of protecting the rights of workers and labor unions guaranteed under the Constitution.

2. History
Our predecessor Sohyo Bengodan was formed in May 1957 in response to calls by the then General Council of Trade Unions of Japan, or Sohyo, to gather with together lawyers working to protect the rights of workers and labor unions.
Sohyo Bengodan literally means lawyers for Sohyo, but is was formed as an organization of lawyers contributing to establishing the rights of all workers and labor unions in Japan and worked to that end.
As Sohyo was disbanded in 1989, Sohyo Bengodan renamed itself to the Labor Lawyers Association of Japan in October that year.

3. Organization
The number of LLAJ members stood at about 1,700 as of April 2019.
The LLAJ is headquartered in Tokyo and has local branches in many areas across Japan.
The LLAJ has a number of young lawyers joining it every year, revitalizing itself with fresh blood while passing over past knowledge and experience to younger generations.
The LLAJ does not have organizational or financial relations with any  specific labor unions.
The LLAJ aims at protecting the rights of all workers and labor unions in Japan and is supported by various workers and labor unions. It is working to further widen the support.

4. Finance
The LLAJ is operated mainly on membership fees, donations from members who had their cases settled and donations from labor unions.

5. Activities
The main activities of LLAJ include:
1) A massive number of lawsuits and consulting activities by member lawyers and the LLAJ’s support for their activities and cooperation with them;
2) Survey, research and recommendations on rulings in labor suits and trials;
3) Survey, research and recommendations on labor laws, labor policies and labor situations;
4) Legal consultations for workers and labor unions;
5) Labor law lectures and symposiums;
6) Exchange of information and experience; and.
7) Issuance of quarterly magazines, bulletins and other publications.

Recent Activities

1.Labor consultation hotline
Following the economic slowdown after the collapse of the Bubble Economy, corporate downsizing has become prevalent in Japan. Factors such as the increase in the use of dispatched temporally workers have recently accelerated the mobility of employment and companies have been major corporate reorganization. Unpaid overtime work and death from overwork have also been serious.
To give advice to workers troubled by those issues, the LLAJ launched telephone consultation activities in February 1993 under such names as “Employment adjustment hotline.” It has been continuing such activities up to today. These activities include national telephone consultations conducted in June and December every year -having been held 24 times since 1993 and having received a total of 18,250 calls-and consultations conducted on a regular basis.
The LLAJ headquarters office offers telephone consultations on general labor issues from 3 pm to 6 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and 1 pm to 4 pm on Saturday except holidays.

2. Recommendations, statements, opinions
Written opinion on the basic nature of labor contract legislation (June 2004);
Statement on a strike by the labor union Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (September 2004);
Appeal to realize Labor Tribunal System that lives up to people’s expectations (November 2004 );
Appeal calling for humane working hour regulations (November 2004); and many others.

3. Lectures

Labor law lectures (every spring)
Labor law lectures for judicial apprentices

4. Rallies, Symposiums
January 2003 – Emergency rally against the bill to ease labor dismissal regulations
April 2003 – Emergency rally against alteration the Labor Standard Law and the law on worker dispatches.
October 2004 – Symposium calling for humane working hour regulations.

5. Survey, research
Research on labor contract legislation;
Research on work-related illness, injuries and deaths;
Research on easing labor laws;
Research on corporate realignment and securing employment and labor conditions; and many others.
April 1997 – Survey on individual settlement systems in four European countries
August 1998 – Survey on U.S.labor situations

6. Main publications
Quarterly magazine Roudosha no Kenri (Workers’ Rights), issued five times annually.
Practical manual on labor consultations, version 7
Working hour manual, version 2
Labor union manual, version 2
Practical manual for workers facing corporate failures, version 3
Practical manual on how to deal with corporate realignment and restructuring, version 2