Page launched an unfair dismissal claim against GEOS, which comes under the umbrella of the GEOS Corporation founded by Japanese businessman Tsuneo Kusunoki.
But the company responded by claiming that Page "accepted understanding of the 'Japanese way' of doing business". They went on to say he was used to Kusunoki "ranting", "berating" and "humiliating" people "so this was nothing new".
But the Employment Relations Authority said the company's failings were "fundamental and profound".
"Ranting," "berating," "humiliating," "nothing new." Man loses job because he didn't make enough money for the company, so GEOS counters with he was used to abusive behavior so that makes it OK. That's so pathetic it's laughable. One of the biggest failures of the large schools is their inability to properly educate, inform, and train their employees. Orientation generally consists of lots of don'ts--don't bother the manager, don't be late, don't cause trouble. Just show up and teach. Despite the instructors being the product the schools are selling, they are treated with contempt and expected to obey without question orders from head office. Instructors may be employees, but they are transient ones, whose only use to help line the pockets of the school they work for.
This dispute in New Zealand gets to the heart of the shake up in eikaiwa: the rot in management. There are two things that have characterized eikaiwa for a long time. One is the bicycle business model where the company must keep pedaling (collecting revenue) or else it will fall over. It worked for Nova and GEOS, but the moment that cash flow is interrupted, things go downhill very quickly. Then there are the autocratic owner/presidents. With Nozomu Sahashi, there was his plush penthouse-cum-office that would make Hugh Heffner jealous, plus his continued assertions that he did nothing wrong when he pilfered an employee. Kusunoki was more of the same, constantly demanding more and more from his staff and berating them for not meeting their monthly targets. When GEOS' Australia schools closed, he issued a half-assed apology that the closures there wouldn't affect operations in Japan. GEOS went bankrupt shortly after that announcement.
To use "the Japanese way" as an excuse just discredits eikaiwa even more. Dishonesty and bullying are the Japanese way? No wonder the major schools are in trouble. They can't fail fast enough. The major eikaiwas have never been about learning a language; they've always been about making money for their owners.