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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 April 24 - May 7  > JCP Chair Tamura at May Day rally praises ‘militant’ labor unions
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2024 April 24 - May 7 [LABOR]

JCP Chair Tamura at May Day rally praises ‘militant’ labor unions

May 2, 2024
Japanese Communist Party Chair Tamura Tomoko on May 1 at a May Day rally in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park delivered a speech in solidarity.

Tamura first touched upon the House of Representatives by-elections held three days earlier in Tokyo, Shimane, and Nagasaki. She said that the opposition’s victory in all three elections reflects a situation where many people want their livelihoods to improve. “Under such circumstances,” she stated, “The ‘militant’ labor unions are the hope.”

She said, “I’ve heard that by calling for ‘substantial wage hikes that exceed the rise in inflation,’ Zenroren-affiliated unions launched more strikes than last year, and as a result, they received from several employers favorable responses to increase wages at above inflation rates. Nevertheless, the rates offered are not meeting the unions’ demands, so they will continue to fight. Only through sustained action can substantial wage hikes be realized.”

She noted that the weekly magazine Nikkei Business in the February 26 issue ran features on “trade unions that speak out,” and the daily Asahi Shimbun in the January 7 edition reported that “labor unions are now coming back to life and are being evaluated highly.”

She paid her respects to the “militant” unions upholding the workers’ right to organize and having brought the revival of strikes in Japan.

Tamura said, “The United Auto Workers (UAW) went on strike at the three major U.S. automakers’ main plants and achieved a 25% wage increase. UAW President Shawn Fain sent Zenroren a message in solidarity. I’m very happy to hear that.”

Citing that Zenroren principles are “independent from capital” and “pursue united action based on common demands,” she called on participants, “Let us further develop Zenroren movement! Let us work together to win substantial increases in wages in order to protect people’s livelihoods from the skyrocketing prices!”
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