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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 19 - 25  > Construction workers rally to win better working conditions to attract young workers
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2020 February 19 - 25 [LABOR]

Construction workers rally to win better working conditions to attract young workers

February 20, 2020

Seeking to win decent wage hikes and calling for better working conditions that will contribute to attracting more young workers to enter the industry, construction workers on February 19 held a rally in Tokyo.

The rally was organized by a joint struggle organization of builders’ unions in the Tokyo metropolitan area and a liaison council of unions in the public and private sectors which works to promote life-related public works projects.

Vice Chair of the Tokyo Construction Workers' Union (Tokyo Doken) Matsumoto Hitoshi on behalf of the organizers delivered a speech. Stating that construction workers play a major role in efforts to recover and reconstruct post-disaster communities, he stressed the need to attract more young workers to the building and construction industries and pointed out, “In order to achieve this, it is necessary to ensure the implementation of a five-day work week system, eliminate excessively long working hours, and improve social welfare programs for construction workers.” He said, “These are our tasks to be fulfilled in this year’s spring labour-management talks.”

Appearing on the stage, union workers expressed their determination to win a victory in this year’s spring labour offensive.

A member of a builders’ union in Chiba, which was hit by a chain of typhoons last year, talked about his experience tarping damaged roofs. He stressed the importance of increasing the number of workers in the local construction industry.

A member of a construction workers’ union in Kanagawa reported on his union’s efforts to raise unit prices by 30% with the aim of implementing a five-day work week system. A member of a liaison council-affiliated union appealed for the need to push the national and local governments to change their policies on public works projects focusing on large-scale projects to one aimed at helping improve people’s quality of life.

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko along with lawmakers of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Social Democratic Party delivered speeches in solidarity.

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