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Mazda Settles Employment Suit With Ex-Temp Workers

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:35am
Kyodo News International

Mazda Motor Corp. and 15 former temporary employees reached a settlement in the Hiroshima High Court on Tuesday in a lawsuit over the car manufacturer's practice of denying workers regular employee status after long services as temp staff.

The 15 former temp workers will each receive an undisclosed sum from Mazda, according to the plaintiffs. They will not return to the car company.

The settlement follows a decision by the Yamaguchi District Court in March last year that Mazda's practice of keeping temp workers dispatched by staffing agencies longer than the three consecutive years permitted by law by directly employing them is illegal.

The 15 plaintiffs who worked at Mazda's Hofu plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture for up to five years and seven months had been dismissed in or after December 2008 amid the global financial crisis.

The Yamaguchi court ruled the company must pay 13 of the former workers the wages they should have received as full-time employees, leading Mazda and the two workers who were denied compensation to file appeals.

"We're glad we could reach a settlement (with the former staff) including the two who were turned away in the first decision," one of the plaintiffs' lawyers said Tuesday.

Mazda said the company decided it would be appropriate to seek an early end to the case through a settlement as the suit was initially filed more than five years ago.

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