Major Japanese electrical machinery firm Hitachi has laid off 40 Filipino technical trainees before their internship ends. They are demanding compensation.
The company's Kasado Division in the western prefecture of Yamaguchi has accepted about 270 Filipinos since 2015 as trainees to learn welding and assembly of electrical devices.
But Hitachi says it discharged the 40 trainees. It says their resident status expired because the company was unable to obtain government approval for the second year of their 3-year intern program.
Hitachi says it was not given any explanation for the decision by the authorities.
The dismissed Filipinos consulted with a labor union to which they belong in order to demand that Hitachi pay wages for the remainder of their contracts.
The union held negotiations with Hitachi on Thursday. But the leader of the union says the terms offered by Hitachi fell far short of what his side demanded. He says the union intends to have more talks with the firm while studying whether to file a lawsuit.
He says the trainees are not at fault, but that Hitachi and an organization that referred the trainees to the firm should take responsibility.
Hitachi says it will properly re-create its intern program once the government orders it to do so. The company says it will re-employ the 40 trainees if the government approves its revised program and the trainees regain resident status.
Hitachi says it will continue negotiations with the labor union on the matter. The firm adds that it will do everything it can to allow the trainees to remain in the intern program.