Zenroren unions hold concerted 'day of action'

Unions affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Union (Zenroren) held a concerted day of action in Tokyo on November 19, opposing cutbacks in pension payments, a consumption tax rate increase, and dispatch of the SDF to Iraq. Union members participated in various events, including rallies, sit-ins, demonstrations, and representations to ministries.

Speaking to about 5,000 participants at a rally in Hibiya Amphitheater on behalf of the organizers, Zenroren President Kumagai Kanemichi stated, "The Liberal Democratic Party has set out its plans to increase the consumption tax rate and to adversely revise the Constitution, supported by the biggest opposition party. Our struggle has become more important than ever before."

Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Koike Akira spoke in solidarity.

More than 2,000 members of the All Japan Pensioners' Union petitioned the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry and the Finance Ministry in protest against the government's plan to adversely revise the pension system.

A 67-year-old woman said, "I've been trying to forgo hospital visits as much as possible since the medical expenses were raised. My 37-year-old daughter lost her job due to corporate restructuring and needs my financial assistance. We've been working very hard. Why can't we even afford good food sometimes? And now the government has a plan to cut pension payments, I don't know where to direct my anger."

About 1,500 members of 5 medical and welfare organizations held a rally and demonstration in protest against the government's plan to dismiss about 6,000 workers at national hospitals. (end)

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