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The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) proposed Thursday at a central committee meeting that next year’s annual wage-increase demands be left up to its member industrial labor unions rather than setting a unified figure.

Rengo, the nation’s main umbrella body of unions, proposed that instead of focusing on wage hikes, more emphasis should be placed on improving working conditions for part-time workers, concluding deals on setting minimum wages within companies, and eliminating unpaid overtime.

The confederation hopes to reach a conclusion on the proposals by fall, when the group is scheduled to decide on its position for the following year, Rengo officials said.

But Rengo may have to adjust its stand because small unions are certain to object to its change in priorities concerning the spring wage negotiations, they said.

In this year’s spring wage talks, Rengo decided against calling for an across-the-board increase in basic wages in order to place priority on job security, and did not set a unified wage increase figure.

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