Transnational Struggle for Workers' Rights & Missing Domestic Links: The Case of Japanese Activists' Involvement in the Toyota Philippines Dispute

  • Katarzyna Gajewska Independent Scholar
Keywords: Japan, labor movement, multinationals (MNCs), the Philippines, worker rights,


The case of Japanese activists’ protest against Toyota's abuses in the Philippines will be analyzed to illustrate the potential for and obstacles to enforcing worker rights, such as the freedom of association in Japanese multinationals. The mainstream trade unions chose not to engage in the defense of workers' rights. The case reveals the presence of a network of labor movement organizations and groups, which can be mobilized at the local level. The background of members of the support group formed in Japan will be used as an example to understand the context of resistance-building against corporate abuses in Japan. This resistance building effort is rooted in the divisions in the Japanese labor movement that took place in the 1970s and new social movements.