A group of Filipinos who flew to Japan for skills training were forced to return to the Philippines on Sunday, November 18, after being fired from their posts.
The 20 Filipino trainees were fired from Hitachi Ltd. after seeking for improvements in the trainings as they were only given menial tasks that are not stated in the contracts, reported Asahi.
Instead of learning about “electric equipment assembling of switchboards and control boards on trains”, the Filipinos were only tasked to pull wires or fit toilet pipes on rail cars.
Complaints have been raised that instead of using the program as an avenue for training and acquiring skills, the workers are only being used for cheap labor.
“These were not tasks under which I could learn the skills mentioned in the contract,” said one of the Filipino trainees.
Another one, meanwhile, said that he has “not acquired any skills” since his deployment to Japan.
Another problem faced by the workers upon their return are the loans they made in the Philippines prior to flying to Japan.
Meanwhile, the company said that it seeks to re-hire the Filipino trainees if its training program will be renewed for another year. The company is still waiting for the decision of the Japanese government regarding its renewal.
The company also agreed to pay the wages of their trainees for the remaining period stated in their contract. The company, however, insisted that there is nothing wrong with their programs.
NOTE: Photo featured in the article was taken by Hiroyuki Maegawa for Asahi.