The average increase in monthly pay for workers at Japan’s 17 major electronics makers resulting from this spring’s wage negotiations is likely to fall below 7,000 yen, labor union sources said Monday.
The leaders of the Japanese Electrical, Electronic and Information Union, an influential union under the Japan Council of Metal Workers’ Unions, approved a proposal to limit this year’s demand for a raise in base salary by 500 yen per month, the sources said.
Salary increases for almost all full-time corporate workers in Japan are divided into two parts. One is a periodic increase reflecting the length of service and the other is an increase in the base wage for the average worker, typically a 35-year-old high school graduate.
Even if management at the 17 companies agree to their demand for a 500 yen raise in basic monthly wages, the resultant average pay increase — including a service length-related pay raise of roughly 6,000 yen — would be limited to less than 7,000 yen, the sources said.
It would be the second straight year in which the increase has fallen below the previous year’s amount. Last spring, the union negotiated an average 7,800 yen raise.
The wage negotiations between the Japanese Electrical, Electronic and Information Union and the management of the 17 firms are closely monitored each year by other industries’ unions, as the union’s demands and results of their talks provide reference figures for other industries’ negotiations.
Major electronics makers have taken a beating from the recession and falling semiconductor prices, leading union leadership to approve the proposal for sharply limiting the pay raise demand.