Take actions for higher mimimum wages and better social security systems: General Workers' Union

The National Union of General Workers' Union affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren-Zenkoku-ippan) held its 16th National Convention from August 27-29 in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, under the slogan: "Let the Constitution guide our life and work and build a Japan in which everyone can have a peaceful and humane life."

Chair Oki Hisashi in the opening speech said that common action demanding an increase in the regional minimum wage has increased in many parts of the country and actually achieved a raise in 44 regions.He also reported that 1,200 workers joined the union in the past year.

The discussion focused on ways to prevent an adverse revision of the Constitution, win higher regional minimum wages, and better social security systems.

A delegate from Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo who participated in the convention for the first time said, "I'm happy to be able to finally attend the convention." He, together with 700 parents, held a "meeting on child care" in his town, and collected more than 30,000 signatures calling for better child care services. In the course of the campaigns, his branch increased its membership to 162 from 100.

A delegate from Hiroshima spoke about a workers' meeting in his workplace in opposition to an adverse revision of the national pension system. He said that the meeting, attended by all the workers including non-union members, adopted a resolution against the pension revision. What's more, they won a raise of our basic wage.

Activities of newly-established unions were also presented. Delegates from Saitama and Chiba prefectures reported on their success in expanding their organizations. A delegate from Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan reported that they held a meeting with representatives of Zenroren and Rengo (the Japanese Confederation of Trade Unions), with the aim of preventing a large wage cut. Eighty percent of the workers expressed support for Zenroren and decided to join
Zenkoku-ippan, leading to getting their demands met, including the issue of wages.

An instructors' union at a driving school in Osaka had a worker who fought against a corporate closure employed as a contract worker. It also concluded an agreement with the management to the effect that new workers be promoted to be regular workers after three years' performance.Then, those new workers joined Zenkoku-ippan one after another. (end)

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