Carmaker’s labor union to demand pay scale hike of ¥4,000 a month

JIJI

A key labor union in the Toyota Motor Corp. group plans to demand a pay scale hike of some ¥4,000 a month in this year’s “shunto” wage negotiations, sources said Thursday.

The Toyota Motor Workers’ Union is expected to present the plan to its member employees on Jan. 30 and finalize its demand on Feb. 6, the sources said.

The wage talks at the leading Japanese automaker are being closely watched as a precursor to negotiations at other companies in the nation because the government is calling for pay hikes to keep up with the inflation it is stoking by weakening the yen, which is improving corporate earnings.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda has said that companies with improved earnings should reward employees in the form of pay hikes. But he stopped short of making comments tolerating pay scale hikes, noting that the issue should be discussed between labor and management at each company.

The Toyota union last demanded a pay scale hike in 2009, but the demand was rejected amid the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008.