Tokyo and other major Japanese cities, were partly paralysed by a national railway workers strike on Wednesday (26 November).
TOP GENERAL VIEW express trains at terminal (3 shots).
LV EXTERIOR Tokyo station (2 shots).
LV & SV empty platforms and lines with lights at red (3 shots).
CU & LV Subway clock at rush-hour with empty subway platforms (2 shots)
LV & SV EXTERIOR Post Office with idle delivery van outside (3 shots).
TV & SV congested motor traffic (3 shots).
LV & CU police directing crowds of pedestrians (5 shots).
LV & CU crowds enter privately operated trains (4 shots).
SV & LV crowded private train pulls away (3 shots).
EXPRESS TRAINS LYING IDLES: TOKYO STATION: EMPTY PLATFORMS: POST OFFICE WITH IDLE DELIVERY VAN: CONGESTED TRAFFIC: PEDESTRIANS: PRIVATELY OPERATED TRAINS RUNNING.
Initials MV/1910 -/1930
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Background: Tokyo and other major Japanese cities, were partly paralysed by a national railway workers strike on Wednesday (26 November).
The ten-day strike was launched by Korokyo, the government Workers Union, and spearheaded by the National Railway Workers Union.
It meant that the estimated 19 million commuters who use the public transport during the rush hours were stranded. And the 18,000 passengers trains, and the express and freight trains were lying idle at the major rail depots.
The strike, which is the largest in Japanese history, centres on a law denying state employees the right to strike. Government workers have been contesting this law for the past eight years.
The Japanese Postal Workers Union (Zentai) also joined the strike. That meant that there would be a backlog of more than 100 million pieces of mail on the fourth day of the strike, and by the fifth day the country's mail service would be paralysed.
In a statement, the workers have agreed to stop the strike if Prime Minister Takeo Miki will guarantee the workers their right to strike.
But the Government has said the strike was illegal and challenged the nation's democratic and parliamentary freedom.
Meanwhile, Japan's commuters are forced to use their cars, causing huge traffic jams and causing delays of up to two hours.
Cabinet ministers are meeting to discuss ways of ending the strike, but it appears that there's no early end in sight.
SYNOPSIS: Japan's biggest-ever-strike has crippled the country's rail transport system and brought its mail service almost to a halt.
The workers are all employed by the Government...and they've gone on strike to get the legal right to strike. That was taken away almost thirty years ago.
So now nineteen million commuters are stranded and the trains are idle.
The Postal Workers joined the railwaymen, causing severe disruptions to Japan's mail service.
The commuters were forced to use their cars, causing severe traffic congestion in city streets.
For eight years workers have been contesting the law which denies state employees the right to strike. They say they will call off their strike if this is allowed. But the government says the strike's illegal and challenges the nation's democratic and parliamentary freedom.
Some private trains are still running, but these are crowded every day and there have been reports of injuries among passengers.
Behind the demand for strike rights, there's a long history of bitter union struggles. The rights were granted to both the private and public sectors after the war but the public sector lost theirs after an abortive strike in 1948.