Mio Susai, FNIU, Japan

The reasons why I became a union officer and message to the future women union officers.

I became a union officer because I thought, "I want to think about the company from the union's viewpoints, something I have never experienced before." While working as a sales staff at the frontline since joining the company, I began to think that "I would like to think more about the working rules from the perspective of the head office (management) where the rules are established," then I requested to work at the head office. After being assigned to the head office, I realized that there were something head office could not do for certain reasons. I was working while wondering about how best to communicate with the sales staff to let them understand these situations and whether the head office’s decision is right or not. At that time, I was told by a union officer that, "If you are a union official, you can directly reach the sales staff members to explain the situation by your own words, and you can think about the "ideal situation" based on the requests you receive from the workers on the frontline to the management to make the company a better place to work.” Hearing these advises, I decided to become a full-time union officer to think about the ideal situation for the workplace not from the inhouse management’s viewpoint, but from the external union’s viewpoint. Actually, it is very difficult task as a union officer to think about the "ideal state" based on a consensus of the union members, but at the same time, I feel that it is a very rewarding job. I also feel that it is a great opportunity to learn about the positive aspects of my company and its shortcomings through friendly competition with union officers of other companies in the same industry, who would be my rivals if I were in sales division. Now, I am honored to have an opportunity to work for the industrial federation (FNIU) beyond the framework of an enterprise-based union. I am working with different goals and a sense of fulfillment from those days, looking at the company from a different standpoint than when I was working for my company's union. I believe that you can experience many different things because there are various roles in a union. I hope that those who are going to become union officers will not miss the great opportunities given to them but find what they can feel rewarding!