The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, better known as Rengo, plans to prioritize wage hikes for workers at small companies and overall employment security in next spring’s labor-management negotiations, Rengo sources said Tuesday.

The plan reflects Rengo’s belief that wages have effectively declined in comparison with Japan’s current economic growth of 3 percent and that corporate earnings will expand for the third consecutive year, they said.

In particular, wages for workers at small and midsize firms should be raised to narrow the gap with those of workers at large companies, they said.

Rengo-affiliated labor unions at small and midsize companies are thus expected to demand a hike of at least 5,200 yen in basic monthly wages, the sources said. The sum was a guideline for this year’s spring labor-management bargaining.

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