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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 17 - 23  > Unions declare start of 2018 Spring Struggle for 20,000-yen monthly wage hike
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2018 January 17 - 23 [LABOR]

Unions declare start of 2018 Spring Struggle for 20,000-yen monthly wage hike

January 18 &19, 2018
The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) has indicated a “positive stance” toward a 3% wage hike. Keidanren was driven to do so by public opinion and movements calling for higher wages to enable better livelihoods and economic recovery amid stagnant personal consumption in contrast to large corporations’ largest-ever profits, Akahata reported on January 19.

The business federation's positive stance was announced in an annual report published by the Keidanren Committee on Management and Labor Policy. Keidanren releases a report every year as a blueprint of the business circles’ strategy for the spring wage offensive known as “shunto”.

On January 17, following the publication of the Keidanren report, the People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee consisting of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and independent unions kicked off its spring campaign for higher wages with a rally in front of the Keidanren building, resolving to win a monthly pay increase of 20,000 yen and an hourly wage hike of 150 yen.

Zenroren President Odagawa Yoshikazu said, “Keidanren in this year’s report showed a ‘positive stance’, but fails to adopt a position to recognize ‘better wages for all workers’ as the key to boost domestic demand.”

The Japan Metal, Manufacturing, Information and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (JMITU) vice secretary general, Hijikata Haruki, expressed his determination by saying, “Aiming to push up real wages and redress social inequalities, JMITU will work hard to win a considerable pay raise for all workers.”

From the National Federation of Finance Workers’ Unions (Kin-yu-roren), Vice Secretary General Sasamoto Kenji said, “In this year’s spring struggle, we seek to establish fair-trade prices which will contribute to revitalizing local economies and industries.”

Prior to the rally, 1,400 union workers marched in demonstration through Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district to the Keidanren building, shouting in chorus, “Win a meaningful wage hike!” “Use some of the corporate internal reserves to increase wages!”

Past related article:
> Use of just small portion of internal reserves will increase Toyota regular workers’ monthly wages by 20,000 yen [January 12, 2018]

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