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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 August 31 - September 6  > About 60% of fixed-term contract workers in municipalities work under ‘working poor’ conditions: Union survey
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2022 August 31 - September 6 TOP3 [LABOR]

About 60% of fixed-term contract workers in municipalities work under ‘working poor’ conditions: Union survey

September 6, 2022

The results of a fact-finding survey of municipal workers with fixed-term employment contracts, which the Japan Federation of Prefectural and Municipal Workers' Unions (Jichiroren) released on September 5, showed that nearly 60% of these workers are in the “working poor” category because they have an annual income of less than two million yen.

The survey was conducted between May and August.

In the survey, 59.3% of respondents answered that they annually earn less than two million yen and 23.9% said their annual earnings are between two million yen and 2.5 million yen. Women accounted for 89% of the non-regular workers surveyed.

Regarding questions about their jobs, 57% responded that they have worked for more than five years with repeated renewals of their contracts and 38% said they do the same job as regular workers and are assigned to jobs requiring specialized skills and knowledge. Asked about their demands for better working conditions, 59.1% called for higher wages.

Jichiroren Vice Chair Nagasaka Keizo noted that the number of non-regular workers in local governments with fixed-term employment contracts exceeded 690,000. He pointed out that in many cities, towns, and villages, these workers are engaged in jobs requiring expertise and experience, and stressed that it is necessary to improve their working conditions and treatment so that they can continue to work without anxieties.

Union member Soga Tomoyosi has worked as a non-regular worker at a municipal museum for 26 years. Talking about the different treatment of regular and non-regular workers, he said that regular workers, for example, can take sick leave for up to 90 days a year while non-regular workers can take only 15 days. He appealed for the need to introduce measures to reduce the stark disparities in treatment between regular and contingent workers in municipalities.

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