纽约时报官方译文 | 当一名日本7-11店主拒绝“全年无休”

How 7-Eleven Struck Back Against an Owner Who Took a Day Off
当一名日本7-11店主拒绝“全年无休”

HIGASHI-OSAKA, Japan — The rice balls are gone. So are the juice bottles, which Mitoshi Matsumoto priced to sell early. Most of his store’s shelves stand empty, but he has kept some cigarette cartons and bottles of alcohol in the hope that his long-running battle with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain will end in his favor.
日本东大阪市——饭团卖光了。瓶装果汁也是如此,松本实敏为了尽早出售打了折。他的商店的大部分货架都空了,但他保留了一些香烟和酒,希望他能在与7-11便利连锁的这场旷日持久的战斗中胜出。

The company that controls the 7-Eleven chain, Seven & I Holdings, terminated Mr. Matsumoto’s franchise last week after he decided to close his store on New Year’s Day, and it has stopped supplying him.
在松本决定于元旦关店一天后,拥有7-11连锁店的Seven & I控股公司于上周终止了他的专营权,并已停止为他供货。

It was the latest battle between Mr. Matsumoto and one of Japan’s best-known companies over harsh working conditions in the Japanese convenience store industry, which demands that stores stay open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for all 365 days in a year.
这是松本与这家日本最知名公司之一的最新一场斗争,起因是日本便利店行业严苛的工作条件,商店按照要求必须每周7天、每天24小时、全年365天无休营业。

Mr. Matsumoto remains in business, but just barely. The screen on the A.T.M. flashes, “Not in operation.” His two full-time employees are ready to jump to new jobs once he finally closes, and his seven part-time employees no longer show up.
松本的店还开着,但只是勉强维持。自助收银机的屏幕上闪烁着“未启用”。他的两名全职员工已准备好在他关店后马上跳槽到新工作,而他的7名兼职员工已经不来了。

Still, he plans to stay open as long as he can.
尽管如此,他还是打算尽其所能坚持营业。

“I want to stay in business for the sake of myself and other owners throughout the country,” said Mr. Matsumoto, 57, who says he plans to continue his fight in a local court.
“我要把店开下去,为了我和全国其他的店主,”57岁的松本说。他说,他计划在当地法院继续他的斗争。

A spokesman for Seven & I, Katsuhiko Shimizu, said the company terminated Mr. Matsumoto’s contract last Tuesday. He denied that the termination was tied to Mr. Matsumoto’s plan to close for a day, and instead cited numerous customer complaints about the store and Mr. Matsumoto’s disparaging remarks about the company on social media.
Seven & I发言人清水克彦(Katsuhiko Shimizu,音)表示,公司上周二终止了松本的合同。他否认合同的终止与松本关店一天的计划有关,并表示原因是该店收到众多顾客投诉,以及松本在社交媒体上对公司的贬低言论。

Mr. Matsumoto’s fight with 7-Eleven has made him famous in Japan, a country that has long struggled with a strenuous and sometimes deadly work culture.
松本与7-11的斗争使他在日本名声大噪,长期以来,这个国家一直饱受一种繁重的、有时甚至致命的工作文化的困扰。

Government figures show overwork was blamed for 246 claims related to hospitalization or death in 2018. The retail industry was one of the biggest sources, officials show. Another 568 workers took their own lives over job-related exhaustion. The phenomenon is so common that Japan has coined a term for it, “karoshi.”
政府数据显示,2018年有246起与住院或死亡有关的索赔被归咎于过度工作。官方表示,零售业是最大的来源之一。另有568名员工因与工作相关的劳累而自杀。这种现象在日本非常普遍,以至于人们为它创造了一个术语“过劳死”(karoshi)。

Overwork has become an even bigger issue as the Japanese population ages and shrinks. Though the country’s economic growth has been weak for years, the labor market has tightened considerably as more workers slip into retirement and fewer young workers take their place. While Japan is rethinking its tough immigration laws, the rules still generally keep people from moving to the country to fill in the gap.
随着日本人口的老龄化和萎缩,过度工作已成为一个更大的问题。该国的经济增长多年来一直疲软,但随着越来越多的员工退休,接替他们的年轻员工越来越少,劳动力市场已经相当紧张。尽管日本正在重新考虑其严格的移民法律,但这些规则仍使人们难以移居日本以填补这种人力紧缺。

Those strains are particularly evident in the convenience store industry. Japan’s chains have greatly expanded in recent years in an effort to capture market share at one another’s expense.
这些压力在便利店行业中尤为明显。近年来,日本的连锁店已极速扩展,为了市场份额展开你死我活的竞争。

While the expenses for the chains were minimal, the expansion took a toll on the franchisees who operate the vast majority of Japan’s more than 55,000 convenience stores. Unable to find dependable workers, many owners increasingly worked themselves.
连锁企业的支出微乎其微,但扩张却给加盟商造成了损失,他们经营着日本5.5万多家便利店的绝大部分。由于找不到可靠的员工,许多店主越来越多地要自己坐班。

“Under the current situation, the company can have it both ways,” said Naoki Tsuchiya, a professor at Musashi University in Tokyo and an expert on labor issues in the industry, who called Mr. Matsumoto “a significant figure” in the nationwide discussion over convenience stores. “They don’t have to take risks, but the owners have to take them.”
“在目前的形势下,公司可以两者兼得,”东京武藏大学教授、该行业劳动问题专家土屋直树(Naoki Tsuchiya)说。他称松本为全国上下的便利店讨论中的“重要人物”。“他们不必冒险,但店主必须承担风险。”

Mr. Matsumoto first drew attention a year ago. Under pressure to find workers and unable to take a day off himself, he decided to close his store before midnight. When 7-Eleven threatened his business, he contacted local reporters.
松本最先引起人们的注意是在一年前。他很难招到店员,自己一天都无法休息,在这样的压力下,他决定在午夜之前关店。当7-11威胁要让他停业时,他联系了当地记者。

“In the last seven years, I managed to take only three trips with my wife,” he said over the weekend. “Even back then, I was preoccupied with store operations, worrying about sudden cancellation by part-time workers. I had to hold a mobile phone while I soaked in a spa.”
“在过去的七年中,我和妻子只有三次短途旅游,”他在周末说。“即使在那时,我也得全神贯注于商店运营,担心兼职员工突然不来了。泡温泉时还必须得拿着手机。”

The clash drew renewed attention last month when Mr. Matsumoto declared his intention to close his store on New Year’s Day, Japan’s most important holiday. Days later, 7-Eleven threatened to close his store.
上个月,当松本宣布他打算在日本最重要的节日元旦关门时,这场冲突再次引起人们的关注。几天后,7-11威胁要关闭他的店。

When Mr. Matsumoto reopened on Jan. 2, the threat appeared to have been carried out. The company’s vast and super-efficient logistics system had stopped sending fresh supplies. The sales terminal where employees ring up goods is still online, but little else appears to be connected to the 7-Eleven apparatus that runs nearly 40 percent of Japan’s convenience stores.
松本于1月2日重新开门,此时公司的威胁似乎已经付诸行动了。它那庞大而高效的物流系统已停止运送新货。收银台的终端机仍然在线,但似乎并没有连入公司那个管理着日本近40%的便利店的系统。

Mr. Matsumoto says he still has business. Supportive customers have shown up to shop among his remaining inventory, which includes snacks, instant noodles, stationery items, detergents and cosmetics.
松本说他仍然有生意可做。支持他的客人来到店里,在他剩余的存货中购买东西,其中包括零食、方便面、文具、清洁剂和化妆品。

One of them, Hiroshi Nakayama, a 45-year-old electrical equipment wholesaler, had long watched the fight between Mr. Matsumoto and 7-Eleven and went to the store after his son’s soccer game to check in. The whole fight could have been avoided, he said.
其中一位是45岁的电器批发商中山弘(Hiroshi Nakayama,音),他长期关注松本与7-11的斗争,并在看完儿子的足球赛后去商店看看。他说,整件事本来是可以避免的。

“There must have been other solutions to fix the bad relationship with the company,” said Mr. Nakayama, who turned up on Saturday after Mr. Matsumoto, running on a skeleton staff, had closed for the night. “They could have discussed it more. It’s both sides’ fault.”
“肯定还有其他方案解决与公司的不良关系,”中山说。在松本独自运作并关店后,中山在周六出现。“他们可以再商量商量。双方都有错。”

Mr. Matsumoto said another store owner, from the city of Kyoto, had come to visit to express support, but he declined to provide a name.
松本说,另一位来自京都的店主到访表示支持,但他拒绝透露姓名。

Despite his troubles with the company, Mr. Matsumoto said he hoped a legal fight would restore his franchise. He said that 7-Eleven had offered to pay for his remaining inventory — owners are responsible for buying their own products from the company at wholesale prices — but that he had refused. He wants Japan’s convenience store industry to change instead.
尽管松本与公司的矛盾棘手,他仍希望通过法律斗争来恢复他的特许经营权。他说,7-11表示愿意买下剩余的库存——店主负责以批发价从公司购买他们自己的货品——但他拒绝了。他希望日本的便利店行业能有所改变。

“If I win the case, I hope more will follow and raise their voices,” he said. “If I lose, many will get depressed and more afraid of 7-Eleven.”
“如果我胜诉,我希望更多的人会跟进,发出他们的声音,”他说。“如果我输了,很多人会很沮丧,更加害怕7-11。”

That is why, he said, he plans to fight to the bitter end.
他说,这就是为什么他打算战斗到最后一刻。

“It doesn’t matter if I win or lose,” Mr. Matsumoto said. “I just want to disclose everything in my case. I believe the justice will be given.”
“我的输赢无所谓,”松本说。“我只想公开我的全部情况。我相信会得到公正的对待。”