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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 13 - 19  > ‘Fight Poverty’ Day of Action held
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2008 February 13 - 19 [LABOR]

‘Fight Poverty’ Day of Action held

February 14, 2008
Trade unions, organizations of smal business owners, farmers, and women’s organizations on February 13 held a Day of Action in Tokyo demanding that every Japanese citizen be guaranteed a minimum standard of living.

The Preparatory Committee for the action included the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), the National Federation of Traders and Producers Organizations, the National Federation of Farmers’ Movement, and the New Japan Women’s Association.

“Fight poverty” is the main task set forth by the 2008 People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee.

After taking part in street action to gain publicity in downtown Tokyo and making representations to the Labor Ministry and Diet members in the morning, the main rally was held at Hibiya Amphitheater with about 3,000 people participating.

Speaking on behalf of the Day of Action organizers, Zenroren President Ban’nai Mitsuo said, “Let us together develop a struggle throughout the country to fight poverty and ensure that every citizen can maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.”

Participants from various areas of activity expressed their determination to struggle.

A youth activist from a Zenroren-affiliated union said, “I will work hard with full-time and part-time workers in order to overcome ‘working poor’ conditions.”

A part-time worker said, “I will participate in the struggle to win a minimum wage increase to more than 1,000 yen an hour.”

Representatives of the small business owners’ movement and the farmers’ movement also spoke.

After the rally, the Zenroren-led Spring Struggle Joint Committee organized action in front of the Labor Ministry and other government agencies to make their demands heard, including a raise of the minimum wage to at least 1,000 yen an hour and amendments to the Worker Dispatch law to strengthen regulations on the use of temporary workers.

The labor participants later walked in demonstration through the Ginza shopping district to the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) with chants: “Eradicate poverty in Japan. Increase the minimum wage. A fare share of corporate profits.”

Day of Action participants from the Joint Committee for Constructions Workers’ Unions in the metropolitan area, which is also part of the People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee, separately held a rally and marched in demonstration with about 3,800 people taking part to call for a wage increase and better working and living conditions.
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