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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 July 27 - August 2  > Zenroren ends its Convention after adopting gender equality declaration
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2022 July 27 - August 2 TOP3 [LABOR]

Zenroren ends its Convention after adopting gender equality declaration

July 28, 2022

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) on July 27 held its 31st Convention in Tokyo.

Delivering the opening speech, Zenroren President Obata Masako said that under a new action program which incorporates the issue of gender equality, Zenroren will demand the establishment of a nationwide across-the-board minimum wage system, a minimum hourly wage increase to 1,500 yen, a substantial wage hike for care workers (most of whom are women), and equal treatment of non-regular workers.

Obata pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed contradictions emanating from neoliberal policies, and said, “The need is for us to unite to put an end to neoliberalism and realize our demands. It is also necessary to further develop the Zenroren movement and build up a peaceful and just society.” She also said that Zenroren has protested against the Kishida Cabinet decision to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe and urged the government to cancel the planned funeral.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira delivered a speech in solidarity, and said that amid the pandemic, Zenroren has been playing a vital role in protecting workers’ rights and livelihoods.

Recalling the latest House of Councilors election, Koike said that during the election campaign, the JCP promised to work to end neoliberal policies which caused long-term wage stagnation in Japan and create a strong and people-oriented economy. He said that at a time when the impact of the price surge has become more serious, the JCP will work even harder to help workers and the general public survive this situation and turn Japan into a nation where workers can realize wage gains.

Koike said that the Upper House election results proved that the teaming up of opposition parties is important to replace the Liberal Democratic Party politics with a new political direction. He said that the JCP will use its wisdom and strength to further develop opposition parties’ joint struggles.

Zenroren Secretary General Kurosawa Koichi presented a new action program for the next two years and explained three goals that the new action program seeks to achieve: win higher wages and shorter working hours for all workers and better social welfare services; return privatized services, which play a highly public role in communities, to public ownership; and change the government to one utilizing the pacifist Constitution. Kurosawa called for increasing Zenroren membership to 1.5 million in order to achieve these goals.

Furthermore, the Zenroren secretary general proposed a Zenroren declaration on gender equality. He said that the declaration calls for realizing wages, labor laws, and social welfare services that enable workers to balance work life and family responsibilities and putting into practice the principle of gender equality in the labor movement.
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