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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 May 11 - 17  > Zenroren holds rally to increase efforts to achieve higher wages for all care workers
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2022 May 11 - 17 [LABOR]

Zenroren holds rally to increase efforts to achieve higher wages for all care workers

May 13, 2022

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the People’s Spring Struggle Joint Committee on May 11 held an online rally to promote their campaign for higher wages for workers working in medical, nursing-care, and childcare jobs.

Zenroren Secretary General Kurosawa Koichi on behalf of the organizers delivered a speech. He reported that in this year’s “shunto” spring wage offensive, Zenroren-affiliated unions representing nurses, nursing-care workers, and childcare workers won a monthly wage hike of 8,377 yen on average, more than 2,000 yen higher than the average of pay hikes in other industries. He stressed that this indicates that unions have a vital role in achieving better working conditions.

In the rally, Zenroren activists shared their experiences.

A male member of the All Japan Construction, Transport and General Workers' Union (CTG, Kenkoro) who works at an after-school daycare center in Aichi Prefecture reported, “My monthly income is 200,000 yen or less though I’ve been working here for 11 years. Together with the union, I worked hard to increase parents’ support and won a 30,000 yen increase in the basic monthly wage in this year’s ‘shunto’ wage talks.”

A male hospital worker who is a member of the Japan Federation of Medical Workers' Unions (Iroren) attended the virtual rally from Hokkaido. He reported, “Since the start of the ‘shunto’ wage negotiations, Iroren member unions waged various actions aimed at attracting public attention which included a signature-collection drive, a press conference, and strikes. These efforts brought about a monthly wage hike of 5,000 yen to hospital workers doing nursing-care jobs.”

A female member of a Nara prefectural organization of the Japan Federation of Prefectural and Municipal Workers' Union (Jichiroren) reported on union’s efforts to increase wages of workers at municipal-run childcare centers. She noted that the state program to subsidize childcare facility operators’ efforts for pay hikes does not cover regular workers. She said that the union is conducting a signature-collection campaign calling for government measures to provide better wages and working conditions to all childcare workers, regardless of whether they are regular and non-regular workers.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Kurabayashi Akiko and JCP member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Toru delivered speeches in solidarity.

Kurabayashi said, “Unions have contributed to gaining higher wages for all care workers. Let us work together to press the government to take measures to improve working conditions of workers providing medical, nursing-care, and childcare services.”

Along with the JCP lawmakers, lawmakers of the Liberal Democratic Party and the “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party gave speeches in solidarity.

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