20 major companies dismiss 17,000 workers, while hoarding 2.6 trillion yen
in 2001

Of Japan's 20 major corporations which cut more than 17,000 jobs from
April 2000 to March 2001, 17 maintained or even increased their internal
reserve of funds accumulated through tax breaks and other means.

These are some of the figures which the National Confederation of Trade
Unions (Zenroren) published based on its analysis of major corporations'
financial reports released at the end of March 2001.

Zenroren calls on its member unions to increase the struggle against
corporate restructuring and in defense of the living conditions of the
people as a major task in next year's Spring Struggle.

What are called "internal reserves" of the 20 corporations reached 36.9
trillion yen in the fiscal year ending in March 2001, up 2.6 trillion yen
from the previous year. The total increase exceeds the figures marked in
1992-1993 and 1993-1994, up 2 and 3 trillion yen respectively, covering all
corporations capitalized at more than 1 billion yen, which in 1981
accumulated a total of 36 trillion yen as internal reserves.

Only three companies, including the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, have
lowered internal reserves.

Also, only five among the 20 corporations increased the number of
employees, which include Yamato Transport (8,400 personnel) and Toyota Motor
Co. (5,000). Both Nissan and telecommunications giant NTT Corp. added 500
billion yen as internal reserves respectively, but Nissan reduced its
workforce by 12,000 and NTT by 8,700.

Ten companies, which enjoyed an increase in internal reserves, reduced
the number of employees by 29,000.

As regards why these 20 companies succeeded in increasing their internal
reserves, Zenroren says, "Restructuring through personnel cuts, corporate
reorganization, and drastic cuts in unit prices of supplies from
subcontractors is the source of the increase. By pushing ahead with further
restructuring plans, major corporations are attempting to sustain the high
profit system even under the recession."

"Main slogans in the 2002 Spring Labor Offensive must be 'stop corporate
restructuring, and defend the employment and living conditions of the
workers'," Zenroren appeals. (end)