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Beyond organised labour in Japan? - the case of the Japanese community union federation

Urano, Edson and Stewart, Paul (2009) Beyond organised labour in Japan? - the case of the Japanese community union federation. In: Community Unionism: A Comparative Analysis of Concepts and Contexts. Palgrave McMillan, Basingstoke, pp. 1-28. ISBN 978-0-230-57250-8

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This chapter highlights the agenda of the leading federation of minority workers in Japan (the Japanese Community Union Federation) which has as a distinctive characteristic its recent affiliation to Rengo. Whatever one makes of their minority status, the Federation embraces workers excluded from mainstream union activity because of their social marginalisation. This may comprise exclusion on the basis of their employment status, gender, ethnicity, or other social characteristics. The Federation addresses the concerns of minority workers both inside and outside the labour market. The varied labour market experiences of minority workers tell many tales of marginalisation. After commenting on the social and political context of the minority social and labour movement, which is the social and institutional basis of the Japanese Community Union Federation (JCUF), we assess its formation and trajectory.