人文地理
Online ISSN : 1883-4086
Print ISSN : 0018-7216
ISSN-L : 0018-7216
研究ノート
自治体の緊急相談窓口利用者にみる間接雇用労働者の不安定性―2008年の金融危機に伴う雇用調整の帰結―
中澤 高志
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ジャーナル フリー

2012 年 64 巻 3 号 p. 259-277

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In September 2008, Lehman Brothers Holdings, a major American financial services firm, filed for bankruptcy, which consequently resulted in the global economic downturn. Many Japanese multinational companies, especially export-oriented manufacturers, downsized their factory floor employment mainly by reducing the number of subcontracted workers. In this paper, the author analyzed factors related to the workers who were placed in manufacturing factories by temporary staffing agencies or subcontractors, and who lost their jobs because of the economic downturn. The author analyzes the casework records of the consultation desk, which was established by a local municipality located in Kyushu, Japan, of those who had lost their jobs. Over a thousand workers lost their jobs as the economy of this locality was supported by a few export-oriented plants.

Most visitors to the consultation desk had worked at specific plants but were not directly employed by the owners of their workplaces. Their move to the locality was mediated by a temporary staffing agency or subcontractors. When the financial crisis broke out and the restructuring of employment began, many workers who had lost jobs went back to their hometowns to seek family support. However, most visitors to the consultation desk did not have reliable families. Moreover, some of them had been remitting parts of their wages to their parents. This heavily strained their budget. Some households, such as those consisting of only couples where both partners were subcontracted workers, or households containing sick persons, etc., suffered even more severe circumstances.

Typically, the residences for subcontracted workers are company-supplied dormitories. They are furnished, and workers who lived there did not need to provide either guarantors or deposits. However, the rents for the dormitories, plus a surcharge for the furniture, were relatively high, although the subcontracted workers did not receive large wages. Thus the visitors to the consultation desk rarely had any savings.

With the reduction in the number working days and hours, the workers’ incomes were reduced to such an extent that they could no longer sustain their lives. Unemployed and isolated from their families, they exhausted their meager financial resources and soon had to evacuate the dormitories. Some workers arrived at the consultation desk in a condition of homelessness and hunger.

The factors that contributed the difficult conditions of the workers are: (1) lack of contact with families, a source of support; (2) lack of financial resources; (3) lack of direct employment contracts; (4) lack of housing facilities independent of employment; and (5) migrant status. They were the first ones to lose their jobs because they were not employed directly. They lost their housing because it was bound to the employment contract. They could not withstand the hardship because they did not have financial or family resources. Moreover, they were migrants in the locality.

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© 2012 人文地理学会
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