A manufacturing firm in Koshigaya City, Saitama Prefecture, had sent a dismissal notice to a Chinese technical trainee as of February 2020 on grounds of the new coronavirus infection, according to insiders. The trainee, a 33-year-old woman, does not agree to the dismissal. A lawyer specializing in labor issues points out that this is a case of unjust termination.
There are fears that such cases of unfair treatment of laborers in vulnerable situations may increase with the end of coronavirus infection not in sight. An organization that aids foreign workers says that this case is “the tip of the iceberg” and calls on the public to provide information [on such cases].
According to a center that supports foreign workers which the trainee consulted, the trainee was scheduled to work at the company until May 2020. On Jan. 24, 2020, she returned to Dalian, China for the Chinese New Year, with plans to return on Feb. 10. The company instructed her on Feb. 1 to remain in China, even though she had not traveled to Hubei Province where the spread of infection was serious. On March 3, the woman received a document informing her of a temporary suspension of the technical training, which she was requested to sign. The same document also stated that her training term ended as of Feb. 10.
The company has refused Kyodo News’s requests for comment. The Organization for Technical Intern Training, the governmental supervisory agency, said it cannot comment on individual cases. (Abridged)