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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 January 18 - 24  > Zenroren calls for winning substantial wage hikes through strikes
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2023 January 18 - 24 TOP3 [LABOR]

Zenroren calls for winning substantial wage hikes through strikes

January 21, 2023

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) on January 20 held a meeting of representatives from industrial and prefectural federations and adopted an action plan demanding a monthly wage hike of more than 30,000 yen and an hourly wage increase of over 190 yen in this year’s “shunto” spring wage offensive.

The action plan also calls for at least 225,000 yen a month and 1,500 yen an hour be paid to all workers regardless of the industry sector they work in.

Zenroren President Obata Masako in her opening speech referred to the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren)’s annual guidelines for employers in this “shunto” labor talks which was released the other day, and said, “In the guidelines, Keidanren called on its member companies to offer pay hikes. However, in reality, it showed a negative stance to even a moderate demand for a 5% pay-scale raise from the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo). Let us fight to win substantial wage increases for all workers and narrow the wage gaps between men and women as well as between regular and non-regular workers!”

In presenting the “action policy”, Zenroren Secretary General Kurosawa Koichi stressed that strike action is the most powerful tool for workers to push employers to offer substantial wage hikes. In this regard, he called on Zenroren members to encourage their coworkers to go on strike together by explaining the need to exercise the right to take industrial action.

A representative of the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) said, “We will make all-out efforts to stimulate all medical and nursing-care workers to stand up for higher wages.” A representative of the Japan Metal, Manufacturing, Information and Telecommunication Workers' Union (JMITU) talked about the results of its questionnaire survey conducted in preparation for this year’s spring wage-bargaining round. The JMITU representative said, “In the survey, 80% of NTT non-regular workers responded that they are struggling to make ends meet and that the largest number of respondents demanded a monthly wage hike of at least 30,000 yen. We will unite and wage a fight to win appropriate wage increases.”

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