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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 January 15 - 21  > Zenroren declares start of 2020 ‘shunto’ spring wage struggle
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2020 January 15 - 21 [LABOR]

Zenroren declares start of 2020 ‘shunto’ spring wage struggle

January 17, 2020
“Raise minimum hourly wages to 1,500 yen across the country!” “Use a portion of internal reserves for a drastic wage hike!” Echoes of workers’ shouts bounced off the walls in an area where Japan’s largest business organization, the Japan Business Federation, is located during the lunch hour on January 16.

On this day, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee staged a day of action to declare the kickoff of the 2020 “shunto” spring wage struggle.

At a rally held in front of the Keidanren office building, speaking from a campaign van, Zenroren President Odagawa Yoshikazu pointed out, “Under the Abe government, the amount of large corporations’ internal reserves has exceeded 440 trillion yen. On the other hand, big businesses’ hostile stance toward decent wage hikes has undermined workers’ purchasing power, dampened domestic consumption, and increased poverty and social inequalities.”

The Zenroren president said, “In this year’s spring labor offensive, let us work hard to push large corporations to use their internal reserves for a uniform increase of regional minimum wages to 1,500 yen an hour and a meaningful overall wage hike.”

Representatives of various unions expressed their determination to achieve success in this year’s “shunto” wage hike negotiations.

Secretary General of the Japan Metal, Manufacturing, Information and Telecommunication Workers' Union (JMITU) Kasase Takashi said, “We’ll make tenacious efforts, including holding strikes, to win a substantial wage hike.” A representative of the National Federation of Consumers' Cooperatives Workers' Unions (Seikyo-roren) said that the union will strengthen its efforts to establish a nationwide, across-the-board minimum wage system.

Prior to the rally, 850 workers marched in demonstration through the Marunouchi business district to the Keidanren office building, shouting in chorus, “Establish a system of equal treatment in workplaces!”; “Decrease the consumption tax rate!”; “Oppose the Abe Cabinet’s move to revise Article 9!”

Past related articles:
> Minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen across country necessary to cover basic daily needs: labor union survey [June 7, 2019]
> Worker-oriented reforms plus \25,000 wage hike will push up GDP by \34.8 trillion: Labor thinktank [January 17 & 21, 2019]
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