• Kyodo


The labor unions of Toyota Motor Corp. will consider demanding a raise of at least ¥6,000 in monthly pay in annual wage talks starting early next year, sources said Wednesday.

That would be higher than the demand made earlier this year and could trigger similar moves across other industries, as the Abe administration and the Bank of Japan aim to revive the economy by spurring inflation, which hits people’s pockets unless wages increase.

The Federation of All Toyota Workers’ Unions, covering 331,000 laborers at the world’s biggest carmaker and other firms in the group, is likely to discuss the basic negotiation policy later this month and to finalize it in mid-January, the sources said.

This would be the federation’s first unified demand since 2009.

In a related move, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) decided Wednesday to seek a rise of at least 2 percent in the upcoming talks, doubling its earlier target after successfully pursuing a raise of at least 1 percent during the negotiations last spring.

A pay-scale hike of 2 percent means an increase of ¥6,000 or more in monthly salary for workers covered by the Japan Council of Metalworkers’ Unions, a core member of Rengo and which groups the labor unions of automotive, electronic and other manufacturers.

The council is separately discussing its negotiation policy and is expected to agree to seek a hike of at least ¥6,000, the sources said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged business leaders to raise salaries as one component of broad-based efforts to fight deflation. The economy fell into recession following the consumption tax hike in April despite government stimulus measures and aggressive monetary easing by the BOJ.

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