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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 6 - 12  > Day of action held to push companies to offer drastic wage hike in this year’s ‘shunto’ talks
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2019 March 6 - 12 [LABOR]

Day of action held to push companies to offer drastic wage hike in this year’s ‘shunto’ talks

March 8, 2019

Union workers of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee on March 7 held actions, including rallies, demonstrations, and strikes, throughout the day in Tokyo with the aim of pushing companies to offer wage hikes by the union-set deadline for next week.

In a rally held in front of the Labor Ministry building, Zenroren President Odagawa Yoshikazu delivered a speech and pointed out that it is unacceptable for companies to show a negative stance toward union demands for higher wages by highlighting concern over potential business lossess. Odagawa said, “Under the Abe government’s economic policy, real wages continue to decline. It is necessary to carry out this year’s ‘shunto’ struggle with a firm determination to win a drastic wage hike and block the planned consumption tax hike to 10%.”

The Zenroren president also called for increasing efforts to attract more workers’ support for Zenroren’s demand for the creation of a nationwide, uniform minimum wage system in addition to a pay raise demand.

Appearing on a campaign van, representatives of various unions in turn expressed their determination to win a victory in this year’s spring labor offensive.

Vice Secretary General of the National Union of Welfare and Childcare Workers (Fukushi-Hoikuro), Tamiya Takanori, pointed out that workers in the welfare and childcare industries earn 100,000 yen less than workers in other industries. He said, “We will fight for our goal of winning a substantial wage increase and the resolution of labor shortages.”

Yamamoto Izumi, officer of the National Federation of Consumers’ Cooperatives Workers’ Unions (Seikyo-roren), talked about non-regular co-op workers’ wage levels. She said that in Okayama Prefecture, for example, newly hired non-regular workers get paid the same as the prefecture’s minimum hourly wage of 807 yen. She said that Seikyo-roren will work to have the management offer higher wages and establish a system of equal treatment between regular and non-regular workers.

Earlier in the same day, members of the Japan Metal, Manufacturing, Information and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (JMITU) went on strike at their workplaces in Tokyo.

The JMITU branch at a factory of Toyo Seiki Seisaku-sho, Ltd. in Itabashi Ward held a rally before staging the walkout.

Branch head Maruyama Osamu reported that the company proposed to increase basic monthly wages by 6,200 yen on average, but 90% of factory workers are unsatisfied with this proposal. Maruyama said, “The maker gained larger profits than last year. Let us increase our efforts to press the company to positively consider the current pay hike proposal.”

Past related articles:
> Keidanren’s policy on 2019 wage talks shows negative attitude to drastic pay increase [January 24, 2019]
> Worker-oriented reforms plus \25,000 wage hike will push up GDP by \34.8 trillion: Labor thinktank [January 17 & 21, 2019]
> Labor demonstrations held in Tokyo for victory in this year's wage talks [March 8, 2018]
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