Sharp dismisses 3,000 foreign workers from one of its plants in Japan

Among them there are many Peruvian and Brazilian workers of Japanese origin
Source: El Periódico / EFE

Tokyo – Tuesday, 12/4/2018

Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp has laid off 3,000 foreign workers who worked for subcontractors at one of its plants in Japan, according to union representatives.

The cut affects employees subcontracted by Sharp for its Kameyama plant (center of the country), and is part of the extensive restructuring process undertaken by the company since it was acquired by the Taiwanese company Hon Hai in 2016.

In a press conference organized in Tokyo on Monday and collected by local media, union representatives of those affected reported that the dismissed workers had temporary contracts and residence permits in Japan linked to them, so they are left without any social protection and will have to leave the country.

Among them are many Peruvian and Brazilian workers of Japanese origin “who were forced to work in a very unfavorable environment,” said lawyer Hoko Hirooka, general secretary of the Mie prefecture union, according to the Japanese agency Kyodo.

Sharp, meanwhile, has pointed out that the workers were employed by their subcontractors and therefore had no direct legal relationship with the company.

Increased production
The layoffs came after Sharp decided to increase the production of image sensors for smartphones at its Kameyama plant in 2017, when it reached about 4,000 temporary workers, all foreigners.

However, this year the parent company opted to concentrate the production of the aforementioned devices -employees in Apple’s iPhone, among other models- in another factory of the group in China as part of its process of adjusting production costs.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, obtained in April 2016 the ownership of 66 percent of Sharp when the Japanese company was in serious financial difficulties, which was the first major acquisition of a Japanese firm by another foreign.

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