Hot Train! Don’t Touch It!

Doro-Mito Strikes

Against Highly Radioactive Trains and Rails.

Doro-Mito pickets

On Octobere 8, rail workers of Doro-Mito, a sister union of Doro-Chiba, have started a strike at Katsuta Car Center (a repair and inspection work) against re-opening of the track from Hisanohama Station to Hirono Station, which is still highly contaminated by radioactive fallout from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant:

As shown in the map below, Hirono is located within the 25 km (15.5 miles) radius of Fukushima Daiichi.

Map of Japan

On October 3, the Japan Railway East Company announced that the track between Hisanohama Stn and Hirono Stn would be re-opened on October 10.

On September 30, the Noda Administration lifted the evacuation directive to communities within a radius of 20 and 30 kilometers from the Fukushima plant (children and pregnant women were to stay away and all others to prepare to evacuate in the event of an emergency). This lifting was meant to downplay the danger of radioactive fallout and reduce liability of TEPCO.

Immediately after the lifting of the evacuation directive of the government, the JR Company announced re-opening of the railroad operation to Hirono. The JR is now spearheading the outrageous re-launching of nuclear power plants around Japan, despite never ending catastrophe in Fukushima and seismic and other dangers in all areas of Japanese Archipelago.

Furthermore the JR Company states that decontamination of cars, tracks and other facilities is not necessary.

After the long battle of Doro-Mito that demanded measurement of radioactive doses in the workplaces, the Company reluctantly began to measure the doses: the track between Suetsugi Station and Hirono Station showed 0.82 micro Sievert per hour. However, the Company insists that the area considered safe by the government ought to be safe.

On top of it, the Company are now transferring the trains left in Hirono Station since the 3/11 earthquake to the Katsuta Car Center. The trains are undoubtedly contaminated by huge amount of radioactive fallout. It decided to coerce workers there to repair these contaminated trains and use them as commuter trains in Joban Line. It is outrageous forced exposure of repair and maintenance workers, train crews and passengers.

The strike of Doro-Mito is a life and death battle. The members picketing in front of Katsuta shouted:

  • ”Stop re-opening of Joban-Line to Hirono!”
  • ”Stop transfer of trains from Hirono!”
  • ”Stop nuclear exposing work!”
  • ”De-contaminate!”
  • ”Stop outsourcing of repair and maintenance jobs”

At the same time, Doro-Mito is organizing International Workers Rally Against Nuclear Power and Against Unemployment held on November 6 in Tokyo.