Labor and management at most of the nation’s major metalworker unions reached agreements Wednesday marking a record-low average increase in monthly pay, effectively concluding this year’s annual spring wage negotiations.

Reflecting the prolonged economic downturn, the average pay rise at the major firms fell to roughly 2 percent, surpassing last year’s record-low 2.66 percent, according to figures tallied by the Japan Council of Metal Workers’ Unions, which includes automakers, electronics firms and heavy industries.

Pay negotiations at Toyota, which are seen as the benchmark for wage talks in other industries, concluded with an average raise of 7,600 yen per month, including a regular pay hike on the firm’s current pay scale.

The raise, which marked a 2.21 percent increase, is 1,300 yen smaller than the hike agreed to last year and the smallest since Toyota created its current corporate structure in 1982.

At Nissan Motor Co., the nation’s struggling No. 2 automaker, labor swallowed management’s proposal to refrain from raising the car manufacturer’s wage base for the first time in its history.

Monthly average salaries at Nissan will rise by only a regular age-based hike of 6,070 yen, down from 8,050 yen last year. Wage talks at Honda Motor Co. settled with an average increase of 7,400 yen — 1,300 yen less than last year.

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