No wage hike in 2005 Spring Struggle despite largest-ever profit

In the 2005 Spring Struggle, workers at Japan's leading manufacturers of automobiles, electric appliances, steel, shipbuilding, and heavy machineries did not get any increase in basic wages. On March 16, each company offered International Metalworkers Federation-Japan Council (IMF-JC) unions no wage increase.

Although listed companies are marking a record high in their current profits, their unions had given up a basic wage increase demand in return for full bonuses, which the companies promised to pay.

Toyota Motor Corp. offered lump-sum bonuses amounting to the equivalent of five months salary plus 620,000 yen.

Offering an increase in bonuses is in line with the Japan Business Federation stance, "No matter how good business performances are, we will not give higher wages," and it has turned out to be effective in silencing unions demanding wage increases, reported Akahata.

At Toyota Motor Corp., which earned a net profit of more than one trillion yen for two consecutive years, the Toyota Workers' Union renounced its claim for a wage increase. Only two unions (Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.) out of eleven makers in the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions demanded an increase in wages.

All 17 major unions in the Japanese Electrical, Electronic and Information Unions, consisting of electronics workers such as those in digital consumer electronics, also dropped demands for wage increase. (end)

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