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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 14 - 27  > Annual convention of medical workers’ union calls for policies that safeguard people’s lives
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2021 July 14 - 27 [LABOR]

Annual convention of medical workers’ union calls for policies that safeguard people’s lives

July 21, 2021

The Japan Federation of Medical Workers' Unions (Iroren) on July 20 held its annual convention in Tokyo and resolved to increase its efforts to improve public health and medical systems, increase the number of medical workers, and achieve a 200,000 membership.

Delivering the opening speech, Iroren Chair Morita Shinobu said, “The ongoing pandemic has shown that the government policy of cutting back on medical, nursing-care, and social services is the opposite of what is needed. Nevertheless, the present government bulldozed through a bill to reduce the number of hospital beds along with other bills.” Morita emphasized to union members the need to strengthen citizens/opposition parties joint struggles in the forthcoming general election in order to realize a government that safeguards people’s lives and livelihoods.

The convention adopted an action program for the next year. Goals that the new action program aims to achieve include:

- overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, blocking constitutional revision, abolishing nuclear weapons, and realizing politics that protect peoples’ lives and peace;
- winning a substantial wage hike that guarantees everyone a decent quality of life;
- introducing regulations on nightshifts and increasing the number of healthcare workers drastically; and
-preventing massive cutbacks in social welfare services

Members of Iroren locals across Japan took part in discussions via online conference apps. A member of the Aichi local reported that the organization on July 13 met with State Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Mihara Junko to petition for the cancellation of the Olympic Games and for government measures to increase the number of nurses. A member of the Hokkaido local said, “In this year’s spring wage offensive, an Iroren branch at a medical corporation placed emphasis on the difficulties caused by the pandemic and won a base-wage increase through strikes and collective bargaining.”

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