【Advantest Corporation】Advantest Questioned INTEGRITY!!

Hello everyone. I am an engineer working for a company called Advantest Corporation. In this article, I would like to introduce the core value that Advantest values the most: INTEGRITY.

Figure 1: Core Values: What We Value

INTEGRITY is a word for sincerity, honesty, and integrity. At Advantest, each letter of the alphabet has its own meaning. For example, the "R" in INTEGRITY stands for RESPECT, which means "We will never commit any act that violates our corporate ethics. We will never commit any act that violates our corporate ethics. For more details, please click here.

Figure 2: RESPECT Our Creed

INTEGRITY is also used in Advantest's internal reporting system, "Helpline. Yoshiaki Yoshida, CEO of Advantest, stated at the beginning of the "Helpline" that, "If you feel that something is not right in your work, please do not leave it as it is, but talk to others around you or ask for help through the Helpline. If you feel that something is not right, please don't just leave it at that, talk to your colleagues or use the Help Line. I hope that you will speak up.

Figure 3: Message from CEO Yoshiaki Yoshida to employees (beginning of Helpline)

【Is this the right thing to do as INTEGRITY ?】
 Advantest employees are expected to act in accordance with INTEGRITY at all times. We are impressed by CEO Yoshiaki Yoshida's words, "Advantest does not tolerate any kind of fraud or violation of corporate ethics," and we want to "work together to build an Advantest that embodies 'INTEGRITY'".
 As a first action, We inquired through collective bargaining (23.8.29 18:00 ~ online) about the unpaid overtime that our colleagues and supervisor were frequently performing. Advantest's Human Resources Department has notified all employees that we believe that unpaid overtime is clearly illegal.

Figure 4: Views on Unpaid Overtime (from Advantest Human Resources Department)Clearly stated that unpaid overtime is clearly illegal.

 At the collective bargaining session, we first shared with them about INTEGRITY, the Help Line, and the words of CEO Yoshiaki Yoshida, and then we informed them of the fact that "manager and co-workers (not managers) have worked more than several hundred cases of unpaid overtime in about six months" and how to verify the number of cases (validity of the number). Then, we shared specific examples of unpaid overtime work by manager and co-worker (not manager), selected from among the several hundred cases.

Figure 5: Late-night unpaid overtime work performed for the "purpose of increasing development speed. A daily scene of colleagues working unpaid overtime and managers giving further instructions

 The company then responded with an unbelievable answer!

Figure 6: Advantest's Response to Unpaid Overtime

 We politely explained once more that Advantest positions unpaid overtime as "clearly illegal" and that as an INTEGRITY we "do not tolerate violations of corporate ethics".
 Upon closer examination of the company's story, it appears that although numerous e-mails were sent from home on a daily basis, as shown in Figure 5, Advantest is unsure if this was done under the company's direction, so they are not sure if it is working time.
It is clear that this was done under the company's direction and orders, since 100 cases of unpaid overtime work have become a regular occurrence over a long period of time. Furthermore, the company knew that these e-mails existed, but believed only the testimony of the person who had sent the e-mails that there were only a few take-home e-mails, and decided that there was "no need to investigate" any further.
We carefully explained the specific method of investigation, but according to the company, there was "no need to figure it out" and "no need to investigate". Finally, the union repeatedly persuaded them of the need for an investigation and got them to promise to conduct a certain investigation.
We could not catch up with their understanding because the reality was so different from what they promise to their employees.
【INTEGRITY to be enhanced】
 As Advantest celebrates its 70th anniversary next year, there is a lot of excitement, including a call for employees to create an INTEGRITY mascot character.
However, we do not want to strengthen our INTEGRITY without substance. Therefore, we will carry out the following activities in accordance with our guiding principles.
1.Identify the difference between what is superficially promised and the reality.
2.Continue activities to bring the differences in reality closer to the original promised INTEGRITY.

Figure 7: Advantest's Guiding PrinciplesOur only source of strength is our own integrity.

Best regards
ATJ Employee