Comsn June 7, 2007Posted by fukumimi in Economy & Business, Japan, law, Politics.
Just as I was going to bed last night, I caught the news that Goodwill Group was going to circumvent the sanctions imposed on its (fully owned) subsidiary Comsn related to the fraud (of taxpayers’ money no less) by transferring the care business to another group company, NSS corporation. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (hereafter the MHLW) apparently doesn’t have a problem with that and the existing licenses will be renewable by NSS. As far as Goodwill Group is concerned, it will basically be business as usual.
This is total Bullshit. (excuse my French)
I was so pissed off at the MHLW for allowing such a blatant attempt at circumnavigating the rules that I woke up at 4am in a really foul mood. I’m still angry as I begin to type this post at 4:10am.
(I don’t have much anger directed at the company, because I’d already decided based on past performance that they really don’t give two hoots about anything more than basic compliance to the letter of the law and have given up on them)
Comsn has a history of evading sanctions by winding businesses up when a realistic threat of an official sanction appears. The legal corporations are dissolved, and a new corporation is formed to pick up where the old one left over. All directed from HQ.
This latest attempt is much the same, albeit on a much larger scale.
It doesn’t surprise me that the MHLW is fine with this slight of hand, either. The timing of their announcement regarding the Comsn affair also appears to be a diversionary tactic, as they are also involved with the scandal surrounding the Social Insurance Agency and the 50million pensions records which are unaccounted for. Nice distraction, eh.
Wasn’t the Aneha scandal exposed just when the media started probing politicians’ finances? And Livedoor….? (Not saying that these wrongs should not be exposed, just that the timing of many of these scandals seems to be convenient. I guess they have a whole bunch of stories in their cache which they can whip out and offer to the media, so that the media can jump on these stories and plausibly explain the shift in attention from stuff which is embarassing to the government and bureaucrats, whilst the media is rewarded for its cooperation….)
Regardless of the timing of this current round of sanctions, Goodwill Group (a group who have been implicated on multiple occasions of illegal labour practices, and not just at Comsn) needed to be punished. Pity the central government bureaucrats colluded with the company to insure that no substantive punishment will be forthcoming.
The CEO of Goodwill Group is certainly well connected, and has a post within the Keidanren, who historically have been large clients of non-full time labour providers.
Crystal Group, which was shipping out labourers to various manufacturing giants in contravention of labour laws is now part of Goodwill Group, and Goodwill are also the people behind Mobaito.com, the leading mobile portal which is a marketplace to attract cheap, casual, day labour.
(Companies who have been found to be exploiting labourers by using firms like Crystal and breaking the employment laws reads like a who’s who of Japanese manufacturing – Canon, Toyota, Matsushita, Ricoh, Fuji Xerox, Nikon, NEC, Sony, Sharp, Sanyo, Fujitsu, Toshiba, NTT, Komatsu…. Fujio Mitarai, Chairman of Canon and head of the Keidanren criticized the labour laws for being too restrictive when his company was implicated for having thousands of labourers working under illegal schemes. The “miracle” of Japanese manufacturing companies’ financial performance during the decade+ long economic malaise is exposed as having been built upon the exploitation of the workforce, but as usual the media circus died down very quickly)
For all the drum beating that goes on about having to improve labour conditions and increase full time labour and reduce the number of especially young people who are not in full time employment, the establishment continues gleefully exploiting the situation.
At least some people are taking a stand. Governor Nisaka of Wakayama prefecture has stated in his weekly press conference today (June 7th) that he is not going to approve license approval requests from NSS.
Hopefully there are other politicans with a backbone who will follow Gov. Nisaka’s stance and say NO to exploitation of workers.
Update: 24 hours later, the MHLW is now saying that it will oppose Goodwill Group’s plan to transfer Comsn’s care practice to another subsidiary and thereby avoid sanctions. What has changed materially in the last 24 hours, apart from public criticism? Clearly these people are unfit to oversee anything.
I have a feeling that Goodwill’s founder will again claim he is being victimized. (for whatever reason….)
I’d be inclined to agree with him a bit if the other firms who have been similarly defrauding the taxpayers get off without similar punishment, but regardless of the punishments doled out (or not) to others, it doesn’t change the fact that Comsn has been engaging in a pattern of behaviour which was designed to avoid sanctions by dissolving a huge number of group companies just as these companies were being audited by local authorities, and this pattern is nothing if not premeditated and directed from the top of the organization.