Nichii Gakkan seeking to buy GABA in Japan.

H/T to the Tozen Union for this one.

It’s just a wild guess, but I wonder whether some Japanese bureaucrat isn’t involved in this somehow. GABA has recently been tied up in various tribunals because of the Osaka branch of the National Union of General Workers, affiliated with Zen Rou Kyou. GABA is among the more egregious English language companies who have sought to redefine, or even outright ignore, the labor and contract protections that workers from overseas are supposed to enjoy in Japan.

In GABA’s case, I believe that their assertion that all of their employees were “independent contractors” was thrown out of a labor tribunal sometime earlier this year.

It’s pretty bad when other countries’ people come to work in Japan, and then have to fight about whether they’re employees or free agents. They end up working like serfs, but without any labor law protection at all.

Once this gets in the news, it’s a big risk for Japan’s international reputation. And I believe, usually then, that is when the government bureaucracies and other shadow government agencies kick into action to shake things up and make problems leave headlines.

This happened with the Eikaiwa firm, Nova. When Nova went bankrupt, suddenly all the problems that the Japanese government turned a blind eye to became liabilities in the reporting of the New York Times, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and whatever big Canada and Australian papers there are.

So a white knight was quickly found, and it was made that whatever bad things Nova had been up to prior to the bankruptcy, well, that was all in the past, and this new agent would fix everything.

Did anything really get fixed? No. But it was just enough to get the problem out of the headlines.

I have a feeling that whatever bad headlines GABA has been working to generate in the labor rights department, the Japanese will now simply be able to say that that was the old management, and the old GABA. Now comes new GABA.

(But the same garbage.)