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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 22 - 28  > Labor Ministry’s panel gives in to business circles’ pressure not to raise minimum wages
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2020 July 22 - 28 [LABOR]

Labor Ministry’s panel gives in to business circles’ pressure not to raise minimum wages

July 23, 2020

The Labor Ministry’s Central Council on the Minimum Wage on July 22 issued its recommendation on this year’s minimum wage revision that failed to show a new rate of minimum hourly wages for the first time since 2004.

This recommendation indicates that the ministry’s advisory panel which has the tripartite structure consisting of experts and representatives of labor and management gave in to pressure from the business circles and turned its back on workers’ demands for a higher minimum wage to ease their anxiety about the impact of COVID-19 on their income.

Following the central council’s recommendation, local councils on the minimum wage will begin discussions on their respective proposed changes. It is necessary to strengthen grassroots efforts in each region to win a meaningful minimum wage hike and an across-the-board, nationwide minimum wage system.

In recent years, regional minimum wages increased by 3% annually and the national average stood at 901 yen per hour. This year, however, Prime Minister Abe in June at a government panel meeting adopted a stance to delay a minimum wage increase by using the need to maintain jobs during the corona recession as a pretext, which coincides with the business circles’ position.

Past related articles:
> 1,500 yen nationwide minimum wage necessary to survive long-term fight against coronavirus: Zenroren [June 27, 2020]
> 110K signatures submitted for minimum wage hike and for demand to protect workers’ livelihoods from corona recession [ June 5, 2020]
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