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ECONOMY > Labor

Keidanren calls for multiple options for wage increases next spring

  • November 30, 2016
  • , Nikkei evening edition , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) has compiled its proposed guidelines for labor-management wage talks in 2017. In light of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s request for wage increases, Keidanren is asking its member companies to increase annual salaries. It says that there are “multiple options” for implementing wage increases, so it is not insisting on pay-scale increases. It also proposes increasing allowances for households raising children or “de facto wage increases” by shortening working hours without changing the base pay.

 

Keidanren plans to adopt these guidelines officially in January.

 

The proposed guidelines basically mirror the 2016 guidelines calling for increasing annual salaries from the previous year, since Abe had asked the business sector to implement wage increases at least on par with the increases this year. Certain Keidanren officials have suggested the inclusion of a passage in the guidelines calling for wage increases comparable to 2016. Coordination will be conducted on this proposal.

 

Although Abe had also requested pay-scale increases, Keidanren is designating this as only one of the options since such increases will result in higher long-term fixed costs.

 

The guidelines spell out many specific ways to increase wages, such as special allowances for child-rearing households or young people and shortening working hours without cutting wages. Keidanren will also call for reducing or abolishing spouse allowances to encourage women to join the workforce. Savings from taking this measure can be used for childcare allowances or incorporated into the base pay. (Abridged)

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