45% of firms to keep pay the same

Kyodo

Nearly half of the top companies in the nation don’t plan to raise wages for nonregular employees during this spring’s wage negotiations, despite pressure from the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), a private research body said Thursday.

Only 16 percent of 174 publicly traded companies that responded to a poll in November and December said they plan to raise wages for nonregular employees, Sanro Research Institute said.

About 25 percent of these firms increased wages for nonregular employees last spring, the poll said.

However, the poll also said 68 percent of the companies plan to increase wages for regular employees this spring, while 6 percent intend to keep them unchanged.

Meanwhile, the 63,000-strong Toyota Motor Workers’ Union decided on a plan to focus on maintaining seniority-based automatic pay increases without demanding any pay-scale hike in the upcoming wage negotiations.

Considering that Toyota Motor Corp.’s earnings are deteriorating on the yen’s prolonged strength, which cuts the profitability of exports, the union also intends to lower the average bonus demand from ¥1.81 million last year to ¥1.78 million.