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Toyota eyes pay-scale hike of ¥2,000 per month

JIJI

The management of Toyota Motor Corp. is considering a pay-scale hike of around ¥2,000 per month in this year’s shunto spring wage negotiations, sources said Thursday.

An agreement would mark the third straight year of hikes at the automaker.

It is also considering using part of the funds set aside for a pay-scale hike to expand its work-at-home system, a measure aimed to help mothers balance work and family, the sources said.

Combined with a seniority-based regular pay increase of ¥7,300, Toyota’s monthly salary would rise by ¥9,300, or an average hike of 2.6 percent for union members, the sources said.

The expected wage hike at Toyota, regarded as a pacesetter of annual wage negotiations in Japan, is likely to encourage other companies to raise their pay scales in turn.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters in Tokyo, “I hope management and labor will hold negotiations in a responsible way and draw a conclusion that is satisfactory to both sides.”

To date, the management of Toyota has indicated a positive stance toward a pay-scale hike as the automaker expects to log a record group operating profit of ¥2.8 trillion in the year to March 2016. It also hopes to contribute to efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration to overcome deflation and create a virtuous cycle within the economy.

However, the management side has been reluctant to meet the labor side’s demand of ¥3,000 amid a slowdown in price growth — a base for wage hikes — and the stronger yen.

With the management scheduled to respond Wednesday, Toyota Motor Workers’ Union is seeking a “satisfactory proposal,” said Mitsuyuki Tsuruoka, the union head.

The Toyota management has also been cautious about the labor union’s request for annual bonuses equivalent to 7.1 months’ salary, according to the sources.