21 Janvier 2013
Contractors fail to pay decontamination workers
NHK has learned that some contractors failed to pay a special allowance to workers who remove radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The government pays the risk allowance of 110 dollars per day on top of the daily wage to people who work in places with relatively high levels of radiation.
The government has commissioned major construction companies to carry out the decontamination. But the actual work is performed by their subcontractors.
NHK found that 2 subcontractors hired to work in Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture, did not pay the allowance.
Several workers say when they started their jobs in mid-2012, they were told they would receive 110 dollars a day with free accommodation and meals. They say their employers did not mention the special allowance.
The workers say that between November and December the subcontractors presented them with a new document about their working conditions.
The allowance was paid on paper, but the daily wage was cut to 67 dollars. Accommodation and meal expenses were deducted from the payment. The workers say the amount they received did not change.
The subcontractors reportedly asked the workers to sign the document as if it were the original one. The employers reportedly admitted that it was a fake.
The workers say their employers apparently tried to conceal the non-payment of the risk allowance.
The 2 subcontractors admitted to NHK that they failed to pay the allowance. But they declined to answer whether they made the new document.
The labor ministry and the Environment Ministry have been looking into the alleged non-payment since November after receiving a tip-off.
The labor ministry says it has found 8 cases of non-payment.