"Disguised Employment Relationships and Resistance against Them"
last update: 20151225
Disguised Employment Relationships and Resistance against Them
This essay describes and analyzes how young people work in disguised employment relationships and how
they resist companies' imposition of illegal contracts.
Since the 1990s, Japanese enterprises, changing their human resource management policies to reduce costs,
have accelerated the use of outside personnel. In addition, the number of contract workers is sharply rising,
because companies are exempted from an employer's liability for a self-employed person. In fact, through
contract labor agreements, companies are disguising their employment relationships with workers. As a result,
many workers are not protected by labor laws.
Young people, in particular, work on a contract basis, albeit reluctantly, because of the decrease in regular
employment opportunities. In this essay we analyze a case in which young people working in a disguised
employment relationship resisted against a company. Also, we focus attention on the human relations, the
nakama, which the young people made in their office and after work as a way to commiserate with each other
and uphold their interests through them. At the same time, we discuss the limits of this resistance in the face
of constraints in the Japanese labor market in the absence of strong industrial unions.
Keywords: disguised employment relationships, youth unemployment, labor union, contract worker