via NHK World / September 1, 2014 / Workers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are planning to sue Tokyo Electric Power Company, demanding it pay wages suited for the dangerous work.
Four male workers at a TEPCO subcontractor will file a lawsuit at the Iwaki branch of the Fukushima district court on Wednesday.
The workers are doing plumbing work on tanks that store radioactive water at the plant.
They say their wages are too low considering the risk of radiation exposure they face. The workers are demanding TEPCO pay each of them about 96-thousand dollars in compensation.
They say their wages haven’t changed even after TEPCO announced an increase in labor payments to subcontractors by around 96 dollars last November.
One of the plaintiffs in his 30s said he is worried about his health because his monthly radiation exposure levels sometimes exceed 4 millisieverts.
He said though he had been reluctant to voice his concerns over fear of losing his job, the lawsuit will make it easier for workers to speak up.
Tsuguo Hirota, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said TEPCO is responsible for making sure the subcontractors properly remunerate workers. He said he wants to bring the working conditions at the Daiichi plant into the open through the trial.
While TEPCO faces the challenge of securing three to six thousand workers everyday for the decommissioning of the plant, its treatment of workers will be dealt with in court for the first time.
Officials at Tokyo Electric Power Company say they are unaware of the details of the lawsuit but that they will deal with the case after hearing the plaintiffs in court.