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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 March 8 - 14  > National hospital workers walk out at 140 facilities nationwide
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2023 March 8 - 14 [LABOR]

National hospital workers walk out at 140 facilities nationwide

March 10, 2023

Members of the Japan National Hospital Workers’ Union (Zen-iro), who mainly work at hospitals managed by the National Hospital Organization (an incorporated administrative agency), on March 9 went on strike at 140 hospitals nationwide, seeking substantial wage hikes and an increase in the number of staff.

National hospital workers staged a nationwide strike for the first time after their workplaces were placed under the independent administrative corporation system.

At the National Hospital Organization Tokyo Medical Center where the resignation of 100 nurses has posed a serious problem, union workers staged a one-hour walkout starting at 8:30 a.m.

At a rally during the walkout, Zen-iro Vice Secretary General Morikawa Ibuki delivered a speech, and pointed out that in order to solve the turnover problem and maintain the hospital’s function as a national healthcare institution, substantial pay rises and an increase in the number of workers are a must. He called on union members to work hard to achieve this.

Representing Zen-iro’s umbrella organization, Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) Secretary General Morita Susumu delivered a speech in solidarity. He said, “Although the government admits to the need to increase the wages of care workers, it fails to take any effective action in this regard, which is unacceptable. The government should recompense healthcare workers fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A 46-year-old female nurse, who participated in the strike, said, “We, nurses, are experiencing a vicious cycle: unfilled vacancies impose heavier workloads on nurses who remain in the hospital, leading more resignations. I want to work without anxieties. That’s why I recently joined the union.”

On this day, Iroren members went on strike at 900 public and private hospitals throughout Japan, according to the Iroren.
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