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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 January 29 - February 4  > Transport workers’ union resolves to achieve better working conditions in spring offensive
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2014 January 29 - February 4 [LABOR]

Transport workers’ union resolves to achieve better working conditions in spring offensive

January 31, 2014
The All-Japan Federation of Automobile Transport Workers’ Union (Jikosoren, ATU), consisting of taxi and bus drivers and driving school workers, on January 28 and 29 held a general meeting and adopted an action program to seek higher wages and a bigger union in this year’s annual wage offensive.

ATU Chair Takashiro Masatoshi in his opening speech pointed out that the Abe Cabinet is moving ahead with the planned consumption tax hike and cuts in social security while admitting to the need to increase workers’ wages. The plan to raise the consumption tax rate should be cancelled because it will deliver a heavy blow to the taxi industry, he added.

The union chair stressed that to build a bigger union is vital to push the government to take measures to improve taxi workers’ working conditions which have been deteriorating since the government relaxed rules on taxi business operations.

During discussions, delegates from across Japan said that taxi workers have yet to benefit from an economic recovery which is said to be taking place thanks to Abenomics.

Delegates’ reports illustrated sweatshop-like working conditions in the taxi industry. One prefectural delegate reported that in his prefecture, young people avoid joining taxi companies because the average annual income of cab drivers is less than two million yen. Another delegate said that veteran drivers’ income level in his region falls short of the amount provided through welfare benefits.

The adopted action program calls on all union branches to negotiate with employers for higher wages and job security. It also states that the union will increase its efforts to urge the government to give up imposing a higher sales tax on the general public and withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks.

Jikosoren plans to stage a large-scale day of action on March 6 which centers on a negotiation with the Transport Ministry.
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