• Kyodo

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The 62,000-member Toyota Motor Workers’ Union decided Tuesday to abandon demands for a basic monthly wage raise and instead focus on securing age-related increases at upcoming labor-management talks, union officials said.

The union, led by Masamoto Azuma, is the core of the 280,000-strong Federation of All Toyota Workers’ Unions, which organizes workers at Toyota Motor Corp., its subsidiaries and affiliated auto parts suppliers.

The core union believes that even if it presses the demand for a basic monthly wage hike at the spring talks, management would refuse due to intensifying international competition, the officials said.

The union made the decision despite Toyota Motor posting a group net profit of 553.8 billion yen and a pretax profit of 794.03 billion yen for the April-September first half of fiscal 2002, both record highs on a half-year basis, due to strong overseas sales.

Due to Toyota’s record earnings figures, however, the union plans to demand an average bonus payment of 60,000 yen per worker as a reward for improved productivity.

The decision is expected to influence unions in other companies and industrial sectors.

Last spring, the union demanded a 7,500 yen monthly wage hike consisting of a 1,000 yen increase in the basic monthly wage and 6,500 yen linked to seniority.

Toyota Motor rejected the 1,000 yen portion but granted the seniority component.

In October, the union held a meeting and adopted a wage negotiation strategy in which it left open the possibility of giving up demands for a basic monthly wage hike.

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