Rengo to demand 4% pay increase at ‘shunto’ talks

JIJI

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, adopted its policy on next year’s shunto labor-management negotiations at a Central Committee meeting Tuesday, calling on member unions to demand wage increases of about 4 percent, including hikes of about 2 percent in pay scales.

The Rengo policy includes a pay scale hike demand for the fifth straight year. Growth of about 2 percent is on par with demands from 2016 and 2017.

Rengo President Rikio Kozu stressed the need for pay growth as Japan continues to combat deflation.

“We aim to strengthen our ability to deliver messages in order to have everyone in the society consider this as his or her own issue,” he said.

The Rengo policy will be the basis for member industry union groups’ own policies for the 2018 shunto talks.

In October, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he expects companies to carry out 3 percent pay hikes in 2018. In response, Keidanren is expected to encourage member companies to raise monthly salaries by 3 percent.

Major companies increased monthly wages by more than 2 percent for four years in a row through this year.