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The Nakayama, Hanshin and Chukyo horse tracks will cancel all races scheduled for Saturday due to a general strike by trainers in the tracks’ labor unions, the Japan Racing Association announced Friday.

It will be the first time in 19 years for races to be affected by strikes, association officials said.

The liaison council of labor union members at the three race tracks has failed to reach wage negotiations with the Japan Horse Trainers’ Association, which employs the union members, they said.

The council notified the employer that its workers will go on strike at midnight Friday. The last JRA strike that prompted scheduled races to be canceled occurred in April 1980.

The officials said management and labor began negotiating at 1 p.m. Friday but that talks failed when the liaison council representatives left the table without responding to management pay raise offers.

Because the labor side did not return to the table, Yasuhiro Suzuki, chairman of the trainers’ association, telephoned the council only to learn that workers intended to strike, the officials said. It is uncertain when negotiations will resume.

Liaison council officials said the three unions will coordinate and discuss their negotiation strategies. The fate of the three tracks’ Sunday races remains unknown.

The Nakayama, Hanshin and Chukyo tracks are located in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture; Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture; and Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture, respectively.

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