Pay scale hikes averaging ¥1,478 so far: Rengo

JIJI

The pay scale hikes agreed to during this year’s shunto (spring wage negotiations) were averaging ¥1,478 per month as of Friday morning, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, known as Rengo, said.

The average, obtained two days after major companies announced their fiscal 2016 pay policies en masse, is down about 40 percent from the ¥2,466 average logged at a similar stage during last year’s labor-management negotiations.

By 10 a.m., 711 labor unions had responded to Rengo’s survey. The confederation calculated the average based on information from 389 unions whose requests for pay scale hikes can be clearly separated from requests for regular wage increases.

At a news conference, Rengo President Rikio Kozu praised this year’s achievements, saying the labor side won pay scale growth even though prices have hardly risen, unlike in the previous year.

The umbrella organization for labor unions, however, did not hit its pay scale hike target of around 2 percent, as the ¥1,478 growth represents a rise of only 0.47 percent.

Meanwhile, the average pay scale hike won by 157 labor unions with fewer than 300 members stood at ¥1,402, or a 0.53 percent increase.

Takashi Suda, a Rengo senior official, said that smaller labor unions “are working hard.”

Kozu said that how to attain broader-based pay scale hikes is the key to reducing income inequalities between big and small companies.