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» Workers leaving from TEPCO to better jobs

Stigma, pay cuts and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left TEPCO. Now there’s an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel-good solar energy industry.

Engineers and other employees at TEPCO. were once typical of the nation’s corporate culture that is famous for prizing loyalty to a single company and lifetime employment with it. But the March 2011 tsunami that swamped the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, sending three reactors into meltdown, changed that.

Tepco was widely criticized for being inadequately prepared for tsunami despite Japan’s long history of being hit by giant waves and for its confused response to the disaster. The public turned hostile toward the nuclear industry and Tepco.

Only 134 people quit Tepco the year before the disaster. The departures ballooned to 465 in 2011, another 712 in 2012 and 488 last year. Seventy percent of those leaving were younger than 40. When the company offered voluntary retirement for the first time earlier this year, some 1,151 workers applied for the 1,000 available redundancy packages.

 

<Media Report>
Stigmatized workers quitting Tepco in droves (Japan Times)


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