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Japan’s largest labor union to demand 4% pay hike in wage talks

  • December 5, 2017
  • , Kyodo News , 3:28 p.m.
  • English Press
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TOKYO — Japan’s largest labor organization decided Tuesday to demand a pay hike of around 4 percent in annual wage talks starting early next year.


The country’s most powerful business association Keidanren is also set to request its member companies to implement a wage increase of about 3 percent in the wake of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call for pay rises. But a number of firms are reluctant to follow the request.


The wage talks will start with a meeting between the heads of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, known as Rengo, and the Keidanren, formally called the Japan Business Federation. Most major firms will finalize levels of pay raises in March.


The Abe administration has requested pay increases for the fifth straight year in a bid to spur consumption, a key driver of the Japanese economy.


Rengo decided at its Central Committee meeting to pursue a pay hike totaling 4 percent — with an increase in workers’ basic pay of 2 percent, in addition to a regular wage rise based on a worker’s age or length of employment.


It will be the fifth consecutive year that the labor union has demanded a hike in workers’ pay scales across the board. But at last spring’s wage talks, the organization failed to gain the same level of increase as the previous year.


Rikio Kozu, the head of Rengo, showed his determination in his opening remarks at the meeting, saying, “It is important to win back the common belief that our wages should rise.”

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