Japanese rail firm punished staff with toilet cleaning

2nd of August 2011
Japanese rail firm punished staff with toilet cleaning

A Japanese railway company has been ordered to compensate train drivers and staff for forcing them to clean toilets and cut weeds as punishment for train delays and other lapses.

The Osaka District Court ordered West Japan Railway, or JR West, to pay a total of Y6.2 million (just over 50,000 euros) to 61 train drivers and other staff for its controversial practice of "nikkin kyoiku" or "dayshift education".

It involved retraining sessions for employees responsible for train delays, overrunning stops by several metres and other infractions.

Judge Satoshi Nakamura found JR West acted "beyond the company's discretion" when it ordered staff to clean toilets or cut grass and weeds.

"It infringed on personal rights and was illegal," the Jiji Press news agency quoted Nakamura as saying.

The judge also ruled that it was "inappropriate as a form of education" when JR West ordered an employee to attend retraining for over five months for running three minutes late at work, public broadcaster NHK said.


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