Vietnam trainee reaches settlement for physical abuse

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A Vietnamese technical intern who endured two years of physical abuse while working at an Okayama-based construction company has reached an agreement with his former bosses as well as the supervisory organization that organized the internship.

The 41-year-old eventually found refuge with Fukuyama Union Tanpopo, a union based in Hiroshima prefecture.

Union officials said an agreement had been reached with Six Create, a construction company based in Okayama city, and the supervisory organization also based in Okayama prefecture.

He said the company apologized to the Vietnamese for the abuse and the organization also apologized for not providing proper support.

Both organizations will also pay compensation.

A lawyer for Six Create declined to answer questions from The Asahi Shimbun.

However, the oversight organization said the case was settled out of court although it declined to release details, citing confidentiality concerns.

The man came to Japan in October 2019 and began his training with Six Create, mainly helping erect scaffolding at construction sites.

According to Fukuyama Union Tanpopo officials, Japanese workers at the construction company began physically abusing the Vietnamese man shortly after he started. On one occasion, he suffered three broken ribs when he was knocked to the ground and kicked with steel-toed protective shoes.

The union obtained a video of the man’s abuse and released it in January.

Video shows the man being hit with a broom as he attempted to unload items from a truck.

In February, the Immigration Services Agency and the Department of Labor revoked Six Create’s approval for its technical intern training plan for gross human rights violations.

In April, the Vietnamese resumed his training as an intern at a construction company in the city of Hiroshima. He said he liked his new workplace and that his health had improved.

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