Tag Archives: english teacher

Japanese Companies are Turning to English Language for Help

Shinjuku District Tokyo Japan 150x150 Japanese Companies are Turning to English Language for HelpMajor Japanese businesses realise the importance of using English, if they are to compete in the expanding international market – do you?

Japan’s top online retailer Rakuten is trading Japanese for English as its official language – company wide – in preparation for an overseas expansion, a move “crucial for us to survive in this competitive industry,” said spokesman Hirotoshi Kato.

However the online giant is not the only Japanese firm to turn to the English language as it searches for overseas growth due to shrinking domestic markets.

During October 2010,  electronics maker Sharp announced they will adopt English as its official language, in its research and development division in Japan and Fast Retailing, which operates the cheap-chic Uniqlo brand, also plans to become a more global company, looking to increase its overseas sales ratio to more than 50% in 5 years from about 10% now.

Electronics giant Panasonic says about 80%  of its new recruits for white-collar positions will be foreigners in the financial year starting next April.  Kentaro Kakihana, leader of Panasonic’s global recruiting team, said the company was seeing “demand for more foreign colleagues to help develop products that suit various local needs”.

Electronics giant Sony, which is headed by Welsh journalist-turned-CEO Howard Stringer, says it has aggressively recruited engineers in emerging countries such as China and India in recent years.

But for Osamu Kishimoto, the general manager at Sony’s human resources development department, nationality is not an issue. “We are just looking for excellent talent.”

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read more at: asiaone.com

Labour Union Formed by Native English Teachers in Korea

english teachers union 266x300 Labour Union Formed by Native English Teachers in Korea A Teachers Labour Union comprising of native English teachers working for a language institute or “hagwon” has been formed in Incheon,

Acording to the The Korea Times news paper, a legal expert, Jung Bong-soo, is representing the new Teachers Labour Union which is is the second teachers’ union, to ever be formed in the Country. The first one was established in 2005 in Gangam, southern Seoul, according to the Ministry of Labor.

Jung said the union comprised of native English teachers working for a language institute or “hagwon” has been established in Incheon, a legal expert on labor representing them said Tuesday.

The union, headed by Evan Lloyd from the United States, has nine members, he said. Native English teachers belonging to the institute are eligible to join, he added. The union head was unable to be immediately reached for comment.

A pattern of “unlawful” behavior by the employer – unpaid overtime and threats of dismissal – drove them to unionize, Jung said.

The five founding members decided to set up the union after the employer forced them to work 40 hours per week rather than 30 hours stipulated in their contract.

“Under the contract, the employer is supposed to pay an overtime rate of 15,000 won per hour. But the employer paid nothing,” Jung told The Korea Times in a phone interview. “In response to complaints about the unpaid overtime, the employer even verbally threatened to fire one of the five, who was a woman.”

They visited Jung’s office, KangNam Labor Law Firm, in southern Seoul in early September for consultations, leading to an investigation by a state labor inspector.

“The inspector acknowledged the teachers were forced to work additional hours without proper compensation and ordered the employer to pay,” he said.

That ruling, however, was not good enough for them because their relations with the employer turned sour with one of the five being laid off. The dismissed teacher plans to file a petition with the Ministry of Labor for her reinstatement.

“The other teachers involved in the dispute also fear similar retaliatory action,” Jung noted.

The expert refused to identify the language institute in question to protect the unionized teachers from further retaliation.

Yoo Mi-young, the labor inspector in charge of the case, said: “The number of petitions of this kind brought up by native English teachers here is on the increase.”

Ahn Kyu-seok, a spokesman for the Korea Immigration Service, said: “Their activities aimed at protecting and boosting their right as legitimate employees will be guaranteed by law, but any activities with political purposes will be prohibited as stipulated in the Immigration Law.”

A total of 22,905 foreign nationals are here on E-2 English teaching visas as of Oct. 31 this year, according to the Ministry of Justice. Of them, 134 overstayed their visa, the ministry said.