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Our Unions, Our SelvesThe Rise of Feminist Labor Unions in Japan$
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Anne Zacharias-Walsh

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703041

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703041.001.0001

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Women’s Union Tokyo in Practice

Women’s Union Tokyo in Practice

(p.42) 3 Women’s Union Tokyo in Practice
Our Unions, Our Selves

Anne Zacharias-Walsh

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at Women's Union Tokyo (WUT) in practice based on the author's observations during period from December 2000 to May 2001. It discusses significant internal pressures the WUT was experiencing at that time and provides an account of the running dialogue among union leaders, members, and the author, culminating in the US–Japan Working Women's Networks Project. After explaining the origin of this project, the chapter considers the problems with service unions, on which the WUT had inadvertently structured itself. It also examines the WUT's individual unionism in practice, with particular emphasis on the disadvantages of individual affiliation, and shows that this model of membership hinders the union from retaining members, which in turn exacerbates the workload crisis that the WUT and other Japanese women's unions face.

Keywords:   service unions, Women's Union Tokyo, US–Japan Working Women's Networks Project, individual unionism, membership, Japanese women's unions, individual affiliation, Japanese women, Japan

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