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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 August 1 - 21  > Zenroren holds General Council meeting
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2007 August 1 - 21 [LABOR]

Zenroren holds General Council meeting

August 3, 2007
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held its General Council meeting on August 1-2 in Tokyo. Noting a significant change in the political situation that forced the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties to suffer a crushing defeat in the July 29 House of Councilors election, the meeting decided to further increase the struggle to eradicate poverty and reduce economic disparities.

The Zenroren General Council meeting was convened for the purpose of reviewing its activities since the Zenroren 22nd Convention in 2006 and setting out plans for strengthening the movement toward the 23rd Convention in 2008.

In the opening speech, Zenoren President Bannai Mitsuo said that the recent House of Councilors election, in which voters passed a “No” verdict on LDP-Komei government policies, marked a step forward that would pave the way for positive changes.” Pointing out that the ruling coalition parties “suffered a debacle because they have made disparities and poverty prevalent and have recklessly taken the rightist road,” he said, “Prime Minister Abe Shinzo must not stay in power in disregard of the verdict.”

“The recent election has marked the advent of a new era in which public opinion can influence politics,” Bannai added.

Zenroren Secretary General Yoshikazu Odagawa proposed key tasks to be fulfilled over the next months, including the launching of a “movement to eradicate poverty” in cooperation with other organizations calling for an increase in the minimum wage and improvement in other social services to ensure that everyone can live without anxieties.

Regarding the minimum wage, Zenroren will urge local assemblies to adopt resolutions calling for the minimum wage to be raised to more than 1,000 yen an hour. It will bring together people infuriated by the residential tax increase to launch a 10 million signature collection campaign in opposition to a consumption tax increase. It will also start a second petition movement demanding the establishment of decent “work rules” to thwart any further adverse revisions of the Labor Laws, including the planned introduction of the white-collar exemption system that will allow employers to force workers to work as many hours as they demand without extra overtime pay.

The Zenroren General Council noted that opposition to the adverse revision of the war-renouncing Article 9 is growing even after the enactment of the law to establish procedures for constitutional revision, and the Council decided to redouble its effort to increase the number of “Article 9 Associations” in workplaces to 5,000 from the present 1,300 and collect five million signatures in opposition to the adverse revision of Article 9. - Akahata, August 3, 2007
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