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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 26 - April 1  > Osaka truck union branch wins wage hike above last year’s level
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2008 March 26 - April 1 [LABOR]

Osaka truck union branch wins wage hike above last year’s level

March 26, 2008
A union of workers in the trucking industry in Osaka has won a larger increase in wages than last year as a result of strenuous labor talks after many years of pay cuts since the major deregulation of the industry.

This is the result of a labor-management effort to together address the soaring price of light oil on the initiative of the trucking section of the Osaka Branch of the All Japan Construction, Transport and General Worker's Union (Kenkoro).

In the third round of the collective bargaining talks on March 18, labor and management representatives of nine companies reached agreement on an average increase of 2,459 yen per month.

The 1990 deregulation of the trucking industry allowed more than 30,000 firms to enter the market. Today, there are more than 62,000 companies in the industry. In order to survive the fierce competition, companies had hesitated to shift a part of the oil price increases onto the consignors. This led to a lowering of freight charges and drivers’ wages. To make up for their pay cuts, drivers were compelled to work longer hours despite their fatigue resulting in an increase in serious accidents.

Kenkoro Osaka together with labor and management made representations to local administrative authorities and the trucking association.

In the meantime, the transport ministry on March 14 issued guidelines for fair transactions between the trucking industry and shippers.

In the face of a change in government policies, trucking companies began to consider raising drivers’ wages, saying, “Although difficulty persists in the trucking industry, it is necessary to improve working conditions. To secure resources needed to accomplish this, trucking companies should make efforts to proactively negotiate with shippers for an increase in carriage charges.”

Kenkoro Osaka also visited 19 other companies that did not participate in the collective bargaining, and suggested that they take advantage of the achievement in their negotiations with shippers.
- Akahata, March 26, 2008
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