negotiate with trade unions in the 2019 Spring Labor Offensive. On March 13
many companies announced replies of the management side. The results were poorer
than those of last offensive. Automobile industry unions did not request a wage
hike in a unified manner. The management of Toyota again did not announce publicly a base
salary hike, following last year. Unions in the electric industry demanded to
raise wage by \3,000 a month and the result was \1,000, which is lower by \500
from the previous figure.
of big companies enjoy a basic salary hike, which has continued consecutively
for six years, but in the manufacturing sector, even big corporations set lower
figures than those of last year.
restaurant industry and distribution industry in which labor shortage is serious,
the management side announced bigger hikes than those of last year. According
to the first-round statistics compiled by the Rengo, a national center of trade
unions, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, the results are almost the same
as those of last year, being 2.16%.
Rengo Chairman Kozu Rikio told March 15 that negotiation would continue,
especially, in the small-and-medium sized companies and that the national
center would watch processes carefully so that workers could gain better results.
The confederation, however, admitted behaviors of Toyota’s unions which veiled their demands
and breakdowns; figures of a basic salary hike, an annual regular hike and
allowances. Unions of Toyota
used to lead other unions, but they did not announce these figures publicly
this year, either.
so-called Law to Reform Work-Style
Abe government, engaging in a campaign of ‘a society in which all 100 million
people can work actively’, has enacted a series of laws in the ordinary session
of Diet last year. It is intended to reform work practices so that employers’ demands
may be rightly met; to improve productivity and heighten a labor participation
rate. The government copes with shortage of workforce, which comes from the
aging population with fewer births, relying on the so-called concept of Society
5.0. It seeks for working habits to fit the new era.
government plans to reorganize business entities into a new structure; it tolerates
wage discrepancies stemming from a company size and employment terms, taking
advantage of a Japanese version of an equal-pay-for-equal-job rule. That is to have
employers establish criteria of professional capacity of employees and set up a
personnel assessment system.
government emphasizes better productivity to survive in the global competitions;
that means excluding incapable workers is right.
Nikkei newspaper says in the March 14 commentary with a title of ‘Cut Off Root
Causes that Prevent Wage Hikes’: ‘a company needs to develop productivity by
appraising employees who show good job performance’. The paper asserts it
essential to bring in a wage system relying on worker’s ability and performance.
think a universal wage system is unhelpful in the today’s changing society and
that it is necessary to hastily establish a wage structure to prefer workers of
better performance and to build up a flexible labor market so as to intensify growth
power. The management demands to broaden a flexible work hour practice and
deregulate rules to fire workers through a money settlement. This is the
2019 labor offensive is held simultaneously when the management asserts to
Struggle of Workers
negotiation continues in the small-and-medium-sized companies. A wage hike is
socially necessary. At the same time workers must fight in unity, which is the
starting point of Spring Labor Offensive.
struggles based on workers’ demands are imperative, whether workers belong to
the Rengo or other trade unions. United struggles are the sole way to successfully
rebuild class-conscious labor movement.
strengthen solidarity of workers in each local community.