Zenroren holds regular convention

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held its 20th regular convention from July 24-26 in Tokyo and called on workers to fight against the Koizumi Cabinet's policy of arbitrary restructuring and for the defense of jobs, living conditions, and Japan's peace.

Addressing the convention held once every two years, Zenroren President Kobayashi Yoji said, "In times of cuts in wages and employment pursued by business circles, Japan is mired in economic recession. Zenroren must win a drastic increase in the minimum wage level for all workers, including part-timers and other temporary workers, and to secure jobs."

Bannai Mitsuo, Zenroren secretary general, proposed an action program for 2002-2003 that focuses on efforts to win equal treatment between regular and part-time workers, eliminate unpaid overtime, achieve victories for struggles by NTT- and JR-related union workers, improve social service benefits and stop tax increases, and foil the government plan to adversely revise the Constitution and enact wartime bills.

Zenroren is called upon to develop these struggles by earnestly cooperating with all trade union organizations, including the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), Bannai said.

Speaking on behalf of the Japanese Communist Party, Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi stressed that as a result of vigorous efforts by the JCP, Zenroren, and citizens at the grass-roots, the Koizumi Cabinet has failed to pass the contingency bills through the current Diet session. "It is facing a serious crisis," he said.

Ichida called on Zenroren members to urge the cabinet to dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election, a chance to pass critical judgment on the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic-Komei-Conservative parties. Their corrupt politics associated with a scheme for a constitutional revision as well as the decade-long recession must be ended, he said.

Stressing that Zenroren is Japan's only national trade union center that tackles political and economic programs, Ichida expressed his expectation that the center, by organizing the unorganized, will become more influential and realize their various keen demands. (end)