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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 February 15 - 21  > Zenroren agrees with small business association to cooperate in wage hikes and SME support
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2023 February 15 - 21 [LABOR]

Zenroren agrees with small business association to cooperate in wage hikes and SME support

February 16, 2023

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) on February 15 held talks online with the National Conference of the Association of Small Business Entrepreneurs (Chudokyo) with the aim of promoting joint efforts to increase the minimum wage and improve government support for smaller businesses.

Zenroren President Obata Masako in her opening speech criticized the Kishida government for pushing forward with a huge military buildup while failing to take proper action to reduce financial hardships that the general public and smaller businesses are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising prices. Obata said, “In order to boost Japan’s economy, the need is to revitalize local economies and enhance households’ purchasing power through higher wages. Zenroren seeks to work together with Chudokyo to achieve this.”

Chudokyo Chairman Hirohama Yasuhisa said, “Smaller businesses think that if possible, they want to pass cost increases associated with soaring material prices onto customers and offer higher wages,” and showed a positive stance toward Zenroren’s call.

Nakayama Hidetaka, Chudokyo executive, who operates a company selling health foods said, “As a business operator, I understand the need to provide substantial pay hikes to workers amid the ongoing price surge. However, this can’t be achieved only by small business operators’ efforts. I want the government to implement measures to improve the wages of workers at small- and mid-sized companies.”

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