Otsu Court Petition
Since August of last year, the Shiga Prefectural Police (Organized Crime Section) and the Otsu District Public Prosecutor’s Office have been making the legitimate union activities of the All-Japan Construction and Transport Solidarity Union, Kansai Nama-Kon (ready-mix concrete) Branch (henceforth referred to as Kan’nama) out to be criminal offenses. They have made malicious arrests of union members in large numbers, indicted them, and repeatedly re-arrested them.
However, what Kan’nama did was to investigate illegal acts committed by construction companies at construction sites and make requests to the contractors for rectification, to file complaints with administrative bodies, and to hand out leaflets--all activities seeking compliance with the law. These activities have as their purpose to protect the safety of workers and local residents, as well as to guarantee the quality of buildings and to prevent a fall in the price of ready-mix concrete. These are nothing more than the ordinary union activities of an industrial union.
Needless to say, Article 28 of the Constitution guarantees the basic rights of labor (the rights to organize, to engage in collective bargaining, and to take collective action); and Article 1, Paragraph 2, of the Labor Unions Act establishes that legitimate union activity, for the purposes of advancing workers’ social status, improving labor conditions, etc., shall not be subject to criminal prosecution. Nevertheless, the Shiga Prefectural Police, Organized Crime Section, and the Otsu District Prosecutor have defied the core principles of the Constitution and the Labor Unions Act. They have taken a hostile stance to Kan’nama’s existence and to industrial union activity itself and fabricated a crime. Furthermore, they have abused their investigative power and committed repeated outrages by saying to arrestees that “it’s wrong for a union to operate outside of the company” and that “we won’t let you do compliance activities any more” and by putting pressure on them to quit the union.
We must also say that the recent treatment of the case by your court, in granting the requested arrest warrants uncritically and in forcing the indicted defendants to be detained and forbidden visitors for long periods of time, has amounted to taking sides with the police and prosecutors in their repeated illegal investigations. We protest vehemently, and make demands as stated on the front.


PETITION
To: President, Otsu District Court

We demand that your court take the following actions, based on Article 28 of the Constitution and on the Labor Unions Act. (Reasons for the demands are stated on the back).

1. Regarding the Shiga Prefectural Police’s unjustified requests for arrest warrants, we request you keep these from being granted in the future, in accordance with Article 28 of the Constitution and Article 1, Paragraph 2 of the Labor Unions Act.
2. Along with lifting the ban on visitors to the union members in detention, we request you promptly grant them bail.
3. Regarding those defendants who have already been indicted, we request that you carry out a speedy and fair trial, and promptly find them not guilty.

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