Civil servants won’t receive right to strike

Kyodo News

The government has decided not to grant civil servants the right to strike when it reforms the civil service system because the labor action would have an undue impact on people’s lives, government sources said Sunday.

The labor rights of government workers are limited, but as compensation they enjoy higher salaries that are more competitive with private-sector wages. The wages are determined based on recommendations made by the National Personnel Authority.

The government led by the Democratic Party of Japan has said it intends to abolish the current system, allowing wage talks between civil servants and their employers to start from fiscal 2013, with an eye to getting the union to accept further wage cuts in coming years.

After abolishing the wage system, the government intended to grant the right to strike in fiscal 2013 or later.

The latest decision, however, may be criticized by the DPJ because a project team in the ruling party submitted a proposal in December to grant public servants the right to strike under certain conditions and suggested they be allowed to negotiate pay and other terms with management.

It may also trigger a backlash from the labor unions.