As previously mentioned in the Bulletin (November 1994 and July 1995), the nation's airline industry has worked hard to restructure since the spring of 1994. The result has been personnel cuts and organizational change. In January 1994 Japan Airlines (JAL) introduced a new system by which flight attendants would be hired on a contract basis. Since then other carriers have introduced similar systems to rationalise further their operations.
Recently, Japan Trans Ocean Airlines (JTA), a subsidiary of JAL, decided to employ contract-based flight attendants. This July and November, it will hire a total of 20 new employees on a contract basis to work with its cabin crews as the first batch of new recruits. This means that all of the nation's seven airlines now employ flight attendants on a contract basis. JTA will recruit females who have graduated from universities, junior colleges and special training schools and were aged 23 or younger on April 1997. Successful applicants will undergo four months of training before serving on board. Contract flight attendants will receive a basic hourly pay of 1,000yen (900yen during their training period) and 700yen per hour as a service allowance. The contract period will be basically one year and will be renewed twice. Also, the company will provide those who have worked for three years a channel for promotion to regular status based on aptitude and job performance.
Meanwhile, each airline has stopped hiring cabin crew as regular employees. Instead, they are moving to promote contract stewardesses to regular employment status. All Nippon Airways (ANA) plans to promote 275 of its first group of contracted attendants to regular status in one of three promotion rounds. It will promote 154 to full-time status by April, another 37 on May 1 and the final 84 on June 1. In principle the company is promoting all contract cabin crew to full-time status three years after hiring them. Because more regular attendants quit than had been expected, ANA is promoting its first group of contract attendants to regular employee status ahead of time in order to maintain a stable supply of core employees in those positions.
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