There's a story breaking today about six decontamination workers in Fukushima who have filed a lawsuit against a former employer for unpaid danger allowances of over 6.6 million yen (US$ 59,300).
In the lawsuit, which was filed at the district court in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, the six men, whose ages range from 34 to 73, claim the unspecified company failed to pay danger allowances for cleanup work they undertook in communities such as Namie and Katsurao that were among the worst hit by the 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant, at which multiple reactor meltdowns took place.
National broadcaster NHK quoted one of the men, who is in his 60s, as saying: "I think it's strange that despite the danger of being irradiated we worked diligently at the decontamination sites but did not receive the originally (promised) pay."
In Yoshida's Dilemma I interviewed one decontamination worker, a welder by trade, who has worked onsite at the nuclear power plant for around two years. He eventually quit, also due to problems with receiving the danger allowance that had been promised. In late 2013, the president of TEPCO, the utility that runs the nuclear facility, vowed workers would receive a daily danger stipend of 19,000 yen (US$170). The worker I interviewed had been promised an allowance equal to about one-third of that amount, but the TEPCO subcontracting company which hired him reneged on that deal.
The worker stated that this kind of situation was not unusual and that another lawsuit had been filed by four other workers earlier this year.