A subcontractor hired by the Fukushima Prefectural government to do nuclear disaster cleanup has been ordered by the Labor Standards Inspection Office to properly implement labor practices after it was reported that they fired three male employees without prior notice. The men claim that they were fired because they reported the company’s corner-cutting.
The labor standards office said that the city of Fukushima placed an order with a joint venture by two local firms for decontamination work in the Matsukawa district. The subcontractor dismissed the three workers allegedly because they told the prime contractor about the wrong work procedure of the company. The regulation from the Fukushima Municipal Government states that vegetation for incineration should be separated from the soil for waste reduction. The three workers said that they were ordered to put the soil and vegetation together in bags. The whistle-blowing led to their dismissal without prior notice, and they reported it to the labor standards office.
The Labor Standards Act states that there should be 30 days advanced notice before an employee’s dismissal. If the employee is dismissed effective immediately, he must be paid more than 30 days of his average wage. The labor office ordered the subcontractor to immediately correct their action and pay the three workers an average wage of about 330,000 yen (approx. 3,270 dollars) each. The company maintains that the three were let go because of their work behavior.