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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 July 25 - 31  > Zenroren holds 26th Convention
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2012 July 25 - 31 [LABOR]

Zenroren holds 26th Convention

July 30&31, 2012
In its 26th Regular Convention held from July 29 to 31 in Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) resolved to fight back against the Noda government’s policies which are dealing a devastating blow to workers, and their work to protect people’s livelihoods, and develop joint movements with other struggles, including the movement seeking a Japan without nuclear power plants.

The Convention adopted a new action program for the next two years and elected a new leadership.

Zenroren President Daikoku Sakuji in his opening speech criticized the governmental panel’s labor policy based on fixed-term employment for increasing the poverty rate and social inequality. He put the importance on Zenroren’s efforts to increase workers’ awareness that full-time status should be the principle to fight to protect.

Daikoku also pointed out that the weakness of the Japan Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), another major national center of trade unions in Japan, has been highlighted through its acceptance of the government’s maladministration such as a consumption tax hike and the restart of an offline nuclear power plant.

Explaining the two-year action program, Zenroren Secretary General Odagawa Yoshikazu said that the program focuses on efforts to put an end to the pro-business society which shifts costs due to the economic crisis to workers; to support early recovery of the region hit by the 3.11 disaster; to develop collaboration with the people in protest against the government’s policies which would incur suffering on the general public; and to create a future which prioritizes job security and social welfare.

Regarding efforts for organizational buildup, Odagawa called on member unions to increase their efforts to achieve a 1.5 million membership by 2015.

During the Convention, delegates from various industrial and local unions exchanged their experiences and views on improvement of working conditions, progress in collaboration with a wide range of people on different tasks, and other issues, which are listed in the proposed action program.

A delegate of the All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers’ Union (JMIU) reported that one branch succeeded in having a company offer full-time positions to all contract workers.

A delegate of the National Council of General Amalgamated Workers’ Union (Zenkoku Ippan) said that its branch at a foreign company in Aichi Prefecture achieved a freeze on the company’s plan to close its factory in the prefecture.

Many local union delegates spoke about their struggles to protect jobs, subcontractors, and local economies from major electronics companies’ plans to close their domestic factories and slash jobs.

A theme which became the hot topic for discussion was about efforts to achieve a minimum wage hike. In the Tohoku region, the 6 prefectures of Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, and Fukushima jointly engage in actions demanding a drastic increase in their regional minimum wage rates.

Another major topic for discussion was about a joint movement with people in various fields. Delegates from local unions reported about their efforts to develop movements for a nuclear power-free Japan and against the reactivation of NPPs, and opposing Japan’s entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as well as the Osprey deployment.

On the first day and the second day of the Convention, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo and other guest speakers delivered their speeches in solidarity.
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