Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There Will Be No Free Lunch for Fuku I Workers Any More, As TEPCO Stops Providing

citing "normalcy" at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Instead, TEPCO will sell "bento" lunch boxes at the plant. No information yet on how much TEPCO will charge.


From September 14 (JST) tweets by Ryuichi Kino, independent journalist who's been covering TEPCO press conferences from the beginning of the crisis:


TEPCO stopped providing bento lunches at Fukushima I. From now on, the company will sell bento at Fukushima I. Workers are to pre-order in order to get bento. Asking how much TEPCO will charge for bento. Personally they should continue to provide lunch for free.


TEPCO's Matsumoto explains the company has been providing [for free] boil-in-the-bag food because high radiation at the plant prevented [workers] from bringing in bento. But the situation has stabilized at the plant, and the boil-in-the-bag food is no longer necessary, so the company is switching to bento, Matsumoto says.


Matsumoto says now that things are getting back to normal, the workers can bring their own bento or purchase one, and so there is no need to provide free lunch. Hmmm, it doesn't make sense to me.


To begin with, there is no store open anywhere near Fukushima I Nuke Plant. Workers cannot leave the plant [during the work], and they have to leave for work at early hours like 3 in the morning. They are not commuting from their own homes so they cannot make their own bento. How can he called it "normal"?


Why can't TEPCO take care of the meals for the workers? Having them purchase bento will reduce TEPCO's cost, and increase personal cost to the workers. I asked [if it's TEPCO's cost reduction measure], but Matsumoto just repeated "Things are now back to normal..."


Is it TEPCO's cost reduction? "It's not that, but things are getting normal..." I guess what it means is indeed the cost reduction. But the wages for the workers are being raised. It's just shifting the burden on the workers.


The net wages to the workers, after the multiple layers of subcontractors take their cut, are not that much. The living condition of the workers is far from "normal". TEPCO must know that, but still stops providing free lunch. I can't think of any other reason but cost reduction. What is the company thinking, weakening the morale of the workers like this?

And the national government and the Fukushima prefectural government continue to look the other way. Many of these workers are from Fukushima Prefecture, some from the very towns where Fukushima I Nuke Plant is located, but the governor of Fukushima is more keen on securing the next big "dango" businesses which will include "decontamination" and debris clearing and medical data collection/research. NISA said early on in the crisis that it "had no plan to do anything about the situation of food for the workers, as it is TEPCO's problem".

Those rich philanthropists (cum business tycoons) in Japan completely ignore Fukushima I Nuke Plant or the workers. Masayoshi Son, of Softbank for example, has given 10 billion yen (US$130 million) to Miyagi Prefecture for its dubious disaster relief plan. A fraction of that money could provide free bento for the workers at Fukushima.

Let's see... Bento 500 yen a piece, workers 3,000. 1.5 million yen per day. It's been about 180 days. So TEPCO may have spent the total 270 million yen, or about US$3.5 million so far. Annually, it would be 540 million yen, or about US$7 million.

Well, it looks all TEPCO needs to do is to say to ex-President Shimizu, "Sorry, we have to have your fat severance paycheck back".

Or why can't the plant workers receive some of the donation money generously given by people from all around the world, so they can buy lunch? The money is still sitting at all levels - national, prefectural, municipal.


Anonymous said...

lol, since things are returning to ~normal, i guess, they have too many workers. the first strike in many lay-offs too come?

Anonymous said...

I bet these meals are all "hot" meals! Made from only locally produced food suppliers!

Anonymous said...

They don't NEED the workers anyway, right?

/sarcasm with a very long half-life/

Bruce Hayden said...

TEPCO redefines lowlife.

Anonymous said...

Didn't former Prime Minister Kan just do a recent interview where he said that TEPCO wanted to abandon the plant(s) only 3 days after the disaster?

Phucking corporate criminals... we are coming for you!

Anonymous said...

These fracking idiots have the audacity to claim they have created a normal situation?

Jail time, would be the normal thing for the TEPCO execs.

Crimes against Humanity, murderous radiation polluting the World...time for a real-life hanging there.

Anonymous said...

Tepco is responsible hundreds of billions if not trilions of dollars in damages world wide. That is if you could but a price on it. That is excluding the millions worldwide that are likely to have their lives shortened. Yet they refuse to pay the pennies it would cost them to feed the misserable wretches who are sacrificing their lives, either knowingly or unknowingly. I hate to say it but during WWII the Japanese had a reputation for cruelty for what they did in Manchuria, Nanking and the Pacific. You would have thought things changed. This action by Tepco is a poor reflection on Japan.

Anonymous said...

Situation Normal: All .....

What a classic SNAFU

The situation in Fukushima certainly is FUBAR

Get ready for a steady stream of BOHICA for the foreseeable future.

pat said...


1) Free Food and Drinks in the canteen

2) Discounted Food and Drinks sold at cost

3) Food and drinks at market rate

4) Food Sales as core of business model.

Tepco is at Stage 4.

Anonymous said...

Ancient tribes often killed sociopaths and psychopaths. Now we simply let them run our entire civilization. Think about that, won't you?

Anonymous said...

Everything back to normal? No radiation testing at all for food, air or water here in the good old USA. They are testing every day but the data is secret. Meanwhile infant mortality is way up and birth weights are down.
The new normal seems to be every man for himself, Devil take the hindmost.
Meanwhile outside it's raining...

Anonymous said...

This one little action tells the story..the whole story of their gratitude. The entire board of tepco every executive who got or gets a bonus or profit sharing should be forced to suit up and be in the hot zone cleaning up for NO PAY lets face it the fat pricks have been paid enough.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person who wrote at 7:13 PM.

Having the experience to work closely with japanese people in japan specially in the corporate world, and is not just me, you realize that how bad are they as much as any other civilization.

The problem with them is that,
First, think that they are better since they are japanese, a superior race...thats why there are very few foreigner even in japan, they dont really want to work closely with other races... but they love to hide this fact with their protocols

Second, they love to win no matter what

so in other worlds they are quite racist and headburn and the USA knows it very well.

Thats why yakuza groups are not allowed to go to the USA and the hiroshima and nagasaki events happen.

sorry for the strong words but you have to work with them to know them...

Anonymous said...

It reminds me the proverb "there is not such a thing as a free lunch".

Sadly, there is such a thing as "free radiations for everyone" :-(

Gray Lance said...

No different from anywhere else --
The few psychopathic egomaniacs that control the many, taking the largest share off the top - and letting the bits left to trickle down to the many expendables that serve the few.

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