With spring comes the annual wage negotiations, when unions press employers for higher pay. These days, however, an increasing number of the workers at the bargaining table are themselves in the autumn of life — 60 or older.

Not only does Senior Union Tokyo, formed last December, help its members campaign for wage increases and improvements in other working conditions, it also plans to petition the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry on Friday for job security for older workers.

"Some senior workers who want to continue to work at their companies after retirement age complain that their wages have been cut by 30 percent to 40 percent although they do the same jobs (as before)," said Kiyotsugu Shitara, general secretary of the union. "We want to stop such unreasonable treatment in the workplace for senior employees."