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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 16 - 22  > Worker-oriented reforms plus \25,000 wage hike will push up GDP by \34.8 trillion: Labor thinktank
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2019 January 16 - 22 TOP3 [LABOR]

Worker-oriented reforms plus \25,000 wage hike will push up GDP by \34.8 trillion: Labor thinktank

January 17 & 21, 2019

Following the kick-off of this year’s spring wage offensive, the Japan Research Institute of Labor Movement (Rodo-Soken) on January 20 published a proposal stating that the implementation of worker-oriented “work-style reforms” and a wage hike of at least 25,000 yen will boost Japan’s GDP by 34.8 trillion yen.

Rodo-Soken, a labor thinktank affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), in its proposal stressed, “To offer higher wages and better working conditions not only will enable workers to achieve a higher standard of living but also will become a key to expanding the Japanese economy.” Rodo-Soken, under the slogan of “work-style reforms” for workers, proposed that the minimum hourly wage be increased to 1,500 yen; non-regular workers be converted into regular workers; unpaid overtime be eliminated; and workers be guaranteed to take their annual paid leaves in full as well as to have two days off per week.

The Zenroren-affiliated thinktank pointed out that a full implementation of “work-style reforms”, including the offering of full-time positions to non-regular workers will create another 6.43 million jobs which will add 6.53 trillion yen to Japan’s GDP. Including this figure, growth in GDP will reach 34.8 trillion yen if other “work-style reform” proposals, in addition to the Zenroren demand for a monthly pay hike of 25,000 yen, are carried out, Rodo-Soken added.

According to Rodo-Soken, the portion of corporate internal reserves (totaling 667.3 trillion yen) needed for a 25,000-yen wage hike is 2.98% of the total and for an hourly minimum wage of 1,500 yen is 2.45%. Furthermore, Rodo-Soken stated that its entire “work-style reform” proposal can become reality with the release of 8.9% of the 667.3 trillion yen.

Rodo-Soken said, “The improvement of working and employment conditions will impose higher labor costs on employers. However, this will work to expand household consumption and stimulate domestic demand, resulting in the growth of corporate profits.”

* * *

The People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee consisting of Zenroren and independent unions on January 16 kicked off this year’s “shunto” spring wage struggle and held a rally in front of the Japan Business Federation head office in Tokyo with 750 union workers participating.

Zenroren President Odagawa Yoshikazu delivered the opening speech. He said that amid the public call for a drastic wage hike for all workers to boost the Japanese economy, what Keidanren should do is to encourage large corporations to return their internal reserves amounting to 425 trillion yen to workers and subcontractors.

Past related articles:
> Large corporations’ internal reserves increase by 22 trillion yen while workers’ wages decline [September 4, 2018]
> Labor thinktank: 20,000-yen wage hike needed to boost household consumption [January 19, 2018]
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