Business

Labor union at Japan's MUFJ Bank to request first hike in base pay in four years

Kyodo

MUFJ Bank’s labor union plans to request a base pay increase at this year’s spring wage talks for the first time in four years, becoming the only union from one of the three mega-banks to do so, according to sources close to the matter.

After reviewing such factors as the looming consumption tax hike in October, the union at MUFJ Bank, the core unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., decided to request a 0.5 percent base pay bump, the sources said Monday.

Unions at rivals Mitsui Sumitomo Banking Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. are not seeking a base pay hike amid a sluggish business climate hurt by the low interest rate environment created by the Bank of Japan’s ultraeasy monetary policy, other sources said.

The union at Mitsui Sumitomo will forgo its request for a second consecutive year, while Mizuho’s union will be doing the same for the fourth consecutive year.

The unions are expected to present their demands to management in late March.

For this year’s annual wage negotiations, Toyota Motor Corp.’s union, whose negotiations tend to be reflected in wage talks in other sectors, did not present a specific target for a base pay hike, demanding instead an overall increase in benefits.

Keidanren, the nation’s most powerful business lobby, has also departed from focusing on raising base pay and is instead suggesting its members consider improving labor conditions “comprehensively,” such as by enhancing benefits for working parents.