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Interac - Illegal?
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AgentMulderUK



Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 360
Location: Concrete jungle (Tokyo)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:02 am    Post subject: Interac - Illegal? Reply with quote

I came to Japan with Interac. Due to very difficult circumstances I had to leave. Ok, so this is hassle for any company - I know that. But they had replacements so no school children went without a teacher. I made sure of that first.

But...get this..they REFUSE to give me back my degree certificate until I sign a form that cancels my Visa. Yeah, like I'm going to do that.
"I will give you back your certicate , when you give us back OUR visa"
I went to collect it and was given so much psychological B.S. - to his credit he tried every trick in the book. Have to wonder if these people have any moral standards whatsoever. Stupid question really.

And, yes, as has been reported on this forum, the wages are not good, especially considering the pay-cuts for August and Christmas; I have never heard such nonsense in all my life. They also made a shambles of the recruiting process in my case, full of empty promises...etc.

Don't get me wrong, I really don't like complaining...everyone makes mistakes,blah,blah. But this really is too much. What should I do? Call in the law?

Thanks for listening to my rant! Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as i know, an employer cannot cancel your visa - only immigration can do that. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on this one.

However, the company requires a release that says that you are no longer an employee, and that they are not your sponsor.

Is this what they are asking you? When you quit Interac, they provide you with a checklist of materials that you must return and duties you must perform. Then they give you the goods back.

One word of warning to anybody intending to work for Interac - they ask for your original degree. This requirement, I feel, is like holding your children hostage until the hiring process is completed. How do they continue to get away with this?

When I left Interac, I was able to extract me and my documents intact, and with a valid visa in my passport. But the whole process was neither easy nor quick.

AgentMulderUK, the CM may be using the wrong term when he describes the document you must sign - a cancellation of sponsorship, NOT a cancellation of visa.

Likely your CM is a complete newbie and doesn't know his bottom from a hole in the ground. There have been so many shuffles and panics with Interac hiring, management and school contracts that it's likely this person hasn't had adequate training or valid information from on high.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1987
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 2:41 am    Post subject: Re: Interac - Illegal? Reply with quote

AgentMulderUK wrote:

But...get this..they REFUSE to give me back my degree certificate until I sign a form that cancels my Visa. Yeah, like I'm going to do that.
"I will give you back your certicate , when you give us back OUR visa"


1. You should not have given them the actual degree certificate; you should always give out a copy of it (scan it, make it fit an 8.5X11 or A4, give them that). As it is, you've already done it, so the best thing you can do is to contact your university and request another. If they ask where your degree is, then be careful, sometimes universies refuse to hand out another unless you say that the first was destroyed. Theft (which is the case here) is probably okay to get another copy.

2. The Visa is yours. They cannot take it away.

They are just worried that you are going into a private ALT arrangement to cut them out of the loop.
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AgentMulderUK



Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 360
Location: Concrete jungle (Tokyo)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:44 am    Post subject: Re: Interac - Illegal? Reply with quote

They insisted I send my original to Japan (at my expense - world courier)....or no job.....

Evil or Very Mad Mad
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you insist on getting back your certificate once you started working for them?
They sound like Korean hagwon owners who sometimes used to keep employees' passports until they finished their contracts.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1987
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, contact your university and see if they'll give you another certificate.

If they will, you have no problem (except that some dubious employer has taken off with your certificate).

ETA: if your university will not give you another certificate, then I guess you have to choose between doing what they want or first threatening and then following through with going to the law and/or the media.
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AgentMulderUK



Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Posts: 360
Location: Concrete jungle (Tokyo)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: They are watchin you Reply with quote

Well, what do you know!!!! They just phoned to say I could pick up my certificate....cannot be a coincidence....I have had this problem for nearly 3 weeks, then, on the very day I made the original post , they do a complete policy U-turn?!
I think they must read this board and are getting pretty fed up with their bad publicity.

So, score one point to Dave's ESL Cafe.

Thanks for everyones support and responses

Wink
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azarashi sushi



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 562
Location: Shinjuku

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think they must read this board and are getting pretty fed up with their bad publicity


Yes they do! I once toyed with the idea of working for Interac... Came to my senses though quick enough and turned their offer down. Anyway, I did the same thing as you... I posted a message on this board and the very next day got a call from them saying that they were not happy with whoever it was who posted the message, and to please not do it in future.

Congratulations on getting your diploma back.
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lajzar



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 647
Location: Saitama-ken, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wonder how it was they had held onto your certificate for an extended period. certainly, it is needed for teh initial visa application if they do that on your behalf, but there is no excuse for them to hold onto your certificates once teh stamps are in your passport.

If it happens with any employer, you should raise teh issue with teh labour standards authorities.
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gimp208@hotmail.com



Joined: 22 Apr 2004
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:29 pm    Post subject: Why didn't you sign? Reply with quote

If you are leaving the country, why wouldn't you sign the release form that cancels the visa? What am I missing here?

Or are you really not leaving the country due to "difficult circumstances" but really want to work for another company. People pull this trick all the time in Japan.

It amazes me how often people break their contracts and commitments to an employer and then blame the company for their problems.

Interac has been around for 30 years and employes several hundred teachers, many of whom have been with the company for many years. Likewise for Nova, Geos, and Aeon. If 10% of the gaijin in Japan are flakes- which anyone who has been here for a while knows is the truth- then these companies are going to have dozens of "dissatisfied" ex-employees who have nothing better to do than whine, bitch and complain in websites like this.

You all make me sick.
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse me gimp, but neither the visa nor the certificate belongs to Interac. They have no right to keep his university diploma.

I agree that there are lots of teachers who don't live up to their end of the bargain. We don't know the whole story here with Mr X-files and what he may or may not have done.
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Wolf



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 1245
Location: Middle Earth

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Why didn't you sign? Reply with quote

gimp208@hotmail.com wrote:


You all make me sick.


NOVA refuses to enroll its employees on Japan's version of the unemployment insurance scheme, despite its legal obligations and several very nasty negotiation sessions to the contrary.

NOVA also threatened to fire and evict me for something that I did not do.

Interac has a history of failing to pay its employees on time, in voilation of the labour standards laws of Japan.

A previous company I worked for lied to my face in a union negotiation. And then later adimited to it at a company meeting.

NOVA's no contact policy has come under fire recently. And their drug tests for foreign staff only came under so much fire because of its obviously discriminatory nature that it has never been widely implamented.

NOVA lied to its (potential) shareholders in a 1996 statement re the existence of a teacher's union.

Withholding degrees, passports, letters of release, etc is illegal. So is asking a teacher to canel a valid working visa. If a company can't keep teachers, then it's their own stupid fault. If a company hires a bad teacher, it's their own stupid fault. If a company has bloated in size to the point where they have to take anyone with a pulse, then once again it's their own stupid fault.

70% of NOVA's teachers leave every year. Not 10%.

A good friend of mine lost a job over age discrimination. This is also illegal in Japan. This person had a "real" teaching certificate and an MA in Applied Linguistics. And years of experience.

Need I go on.

You, sir, make me sick. Stop posting your delusional fantasies on sites like this where people come seeking information about teaching jobs and enviornments.
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Smooth Operator



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 140
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First post from Mr Gimp, and what a nice one. Do you work for Interac or Nova? Want to climb the greasy pole into management by licking ass? Nice. Good luck sir...
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Experienced



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:33 pm    Post subject: Interac's reputation Reply with quote

Although Mr. Gimp's comments are appreciated, companies also have to deal with their own reputation. Here are two sites which document some of Interac's history:

http://fierceforward.com/interac/

http://www.letsjapan.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=10


What amazes me is that other companies in the ESL industry in Japan don't even begin to get the harsh criticism that Interac seems to have brought upon itself because of Interac's poor ethical standards. If anyone is thinking of teaching ESL in Japan, remember that there are better alternatives to Interac.
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carmenz



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds more like stealing to me. I'd contact the police. I also might contact the school you graduated from and inform them that your degree has been stolen. Maybe they can issue you another one?

That school has no right to hold on to your degree or hold it for ransom for anything. PLEASE report them to the police!!!! They sound very criminal. I've never heard of this company myself, though. And in the future don't give out your degree to anyone. A photocopy okay....but the original? Just because schools ask for thing does not mean you have to give them. Sorry but always try to use common sense about these things.
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