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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 14 - 20  > Union workers go on nationwide strike
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2018 March 14 - 20 TOP3 [LABOR]

Union workers go on nationwide strike

March 16, 2018

Union workers across the nation on March 15 took part in strikes, rallies, and demonstrations in protest against responses given by major companies in wage talks the previous day.

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the People's Spring Struggle Joint Committee jointly organized this nationwide concerted action.

JMITU-affiliated unions in the communications industry went on strike at 31 locations throughout Japan, protesting that Japan's tele-giant NTT during this year's spring wage bargaining (shunto) negotiations offered just a modest increase, a basic pay raise of 1,800 yen a month. In front of the head office of NTT holdings in Tokyo, demonstrators pointed out that NTT now has about 10.24 trillion yen in internal reserves, and they demanded higher wages.

More than 310 unions affiliated with the Japan Federation of Medical Workers' Unions (Iroren) held rallies with about 20,000 medical workers participating. They demanded improvement in nightshift working conditions as well as wage increases. At a Red Cross hospital in Saitama, a one-hour strike took place. The nurses and other staff complained that the hospital keeps their wages low while having them do triple duties - working nightshifts, intensive care units, and the emergency ward. They said it is necessary to improve working conditions so that they can focus on patient care.

The union at Shochiku which deals with motion pictures, theater operations, and kabuki held a pep rally before staging a strike. The union is affiliated with the Federation of Cinema and Theatrical Workers Union of Japan (Eien-Roren). At the rally, it was reported that many non-regular workers in the performing arts industry came to the union to seek advice. The union chair of another big film production/distribution company, Toei, gave a speech in solidarity with Shochiku union workers.

The union consisting of welfare, nursing-care and childcare workers organized strikes at 63 care facilities. The workers sought redress to their relatively-low wages which are about 100,000 yen lower than that of workers in other industries.

In Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture, railway workers of JR Freight staged a 24-hour strike. They complained that a basic pay increase has been denied for 18 years.

Past related article:
> Labor demonstrations held in Tokyo for victory in this year's wage talks [March 8, 2018]
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