Large corporations had 160,000 disputes with workers in 2004

In FY 2004, disputes over wage cuts and dismissals at large corporations involving management and individual workers increased by 13.7 percent from the previous year to 160,000 cases.

According to a survey by the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry, in the 160,000 disputes out of the total 820,000 labor complaints, the biggest share of 27 percent concerned dismissals, followed by worsened working conditions at 16 percent.

About 4,000 cases were brought to prefectural labor bureau mediation committees. More than 40 percent of the cases concerned corporate dismissals of workers. About 45 percent of the cases brought to the committees have been settled. However, in a similar percentage of cases, mediation was closed. This means that corporations reject mediation in one out of every two cases in which workers sought mediation.

Of the 4,000 applicants for mediation, part-time workers account for 19 percent, followed by temporary workers.

During the past year, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) received more than 10,000 requests for labor counsel. Zenroren Secretary General Bannai Mitsuo said, "An enormous number of labor disputes are taking place throughout Japan. Zenroren will do its best so that workers need not suffer in silence any longer." - Akahata June 1, 2005

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