Business

Automobile labor union confederation to demand basic wage hike

Kyodo

The Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions said Thursday it will request a basic wage hike at the annual labor-management wage talks this spring.

But the labor group, with a membership of around 762,000, did not set a unified numerical target for increased wages, taking into account the different businesses performances of each auto and parts maker. The confederation said it will leave the setting of specific goals to each member union.

At the central committee’s meeting held in Tokyo, the industrywide labor confederation approved its plan to call for increased salaries in order to beat Japan’s chronic deflation and ensure the revival and sustainable growth of the economy.

Yasunobu Aihara, president of the confederation, told the committee meeting, “Through our own wage improvement, we will change the economic trend and contribute to creating a society that can provide as many job opportunities as possible.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked companies to increase workers’ salaries in exchange for government stimulus measures such as tax breaks as well as deregulation.

Abe has increased pressure on companies to hike wages on the back of concern that the sales tax hike from the current 5 percent to 8 percent from April 1 could dampen consumer spending and business investment, dealing a blow to his efforts to end nearly two decades of deflation in Japan.

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), the country’s largest umbrella body for labor unions, is expected to demand a basic pay hike of at least 1 percent at the upcoming labor-management wage talks and Daihatsu Motor Co. group’s labor union is considering requesting a pay-scale hike of at least 1 percent.

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