The Japan Company Handbook 2006 assessment of Benesse states: "Language Division sharply turning profitable on improved earnings of Berlitz". And CEO Soichiro Fukutake sits comfortably at No. 437 on the Forbes list of billionaires.
According to the Herald-Tribune, "Weekends, as often as not, he circles the sea in his private plane" We assume they mean the skies above the sea, but in any case, the union has no objection to Mr. Fukutake's mode of travel; however, if he is cruising the skies in a private plane, why am I paying my own train fare to a Berlitz LC from home?
BEGUNTO's shunto demands for 2006 include several items related to travel, including pay for all transportation and travel time:
1) Compensation for all transportation costs, including from home.
This is what is written in the contract, with no exceptions for travels from home to non-base LC's inside or outside Tokyo. Management has indicated willingness to revise travel policy, but in the meantime, why are we paying our own train fare to non-base LC's? The union wants to see travel policy brought into line with the contract immediately, and teachers compensated for travel expenses incurred up til now.
2) Compensation for all travel time, including from home.
Time spent on the train is not free time. A reasonable commute is a major factor in deciding where to live and where to work. If Berlitz wants teachers to be willing to travel anywhere on the Kanto plain, they had better compensate us for the time spent getting there.
3) Right to refuse travels in blocked time
If you block your schedule from 4:45, do you want Berlitz scheduling you to travel from 3:15 to teach at an LC in the next prefecture? Are you willing to reserve 2-3 travels worth of time before your scheduled working hours at Berlitz, just in case they need a teacher in the depths of Chiba/Saitama/Kanagawa? For the sake of comparison, note that even NOVA doesn't expect that much.
If you agree that the above changes would be an improvement in your working conditions, do something about it.. join the union!