Berlitz Japan lawsuit: noteworthy letter to the editor in last month’s Japan Times.

I missed this one, from Scott Sherwood.

The money quotes:

Lastly, and this is certainly my interpretation of events, Berlitz was not worried about the strike “dragging on” into another year, contrary to Mr. Budmar’s or his informant’s interpretation. Berlitz had already shown itself quite willing to absorb financial fallout from the strike, which by this time had stabilized in participation and frequency.

What prompted Berlitz’s legal action was a visit by a bilingual union leader accompanied by two members (I was one) to a corporate customer’s office. The purpose of the visit was to explain the reason for the strike (I am sure they were not aware of it) and to assure them that the union was earnestly seeking an equitable resolution.

The possibility of more corporate customers learning of the strike and perhaps canceling contracts is what prompted Berlitz to swat the mosquito with a sledgehammer.

This makes sense. The Berlitz Union was (is?) really a small number of employees of Berlitz Japan. So the monetary demands would not ever sink Berlitz. But was it the fact that the small group’s continued striking might possibly cause Berlitz to lose corporate contracts in Japan? Even one? Hmmmm.

Big companies don’t like to, straightforward, deal with grievances. The runners of these things seem to feel that that accords too much dignity to the employee. So, instead, they look to other avenues to try and cheat and disenfranchise. The people thinking these things up believe themselves to be so creative. Yet it almost always tends to be the same sort of thing.