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The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, confirmed Thursday that it will demand a pay-scale increase of about 2% in 2022 shuntō spring labor-management wage negotiations.

It will call for a pay-scale hike for the ninth consecutive year.

Rengo will also seek a combined increase of about 4% in seniority-based wages and pay scales, aiming to lift the salary standard from the bottom up and correct wealth gaps.

The size of Rengo’s demand for pay-scale growth has been maintained since 2016.

Rengo, the umbrella body of labor unions across Japan, will make a formal decision on its policy for the upcoming shuntō at a central committee meeting on Dec. 2.

Rengo President Tomoko Yoshino told a news conference Thursday that improvements in working conditions will “lead to the development of companies.

“It’s important to make demands clearly and hold negotiations,” she also said, while indicating that Rengo will make efforts to give better treatment to nonregular workers and correct the gender wage gap.

In the basic concept for its shuntō policy, Rengo said that it will call for investments in human resources that can become a driving force for an active economy and society. It also stressed the need for all labor unions to demand wage hikes to put the economy on a recovery course.

The combined increase of seniority-based wages and pay scales achieved during the shuntō talks in 2021 averaged 1.78%, down 0.12 percentage point from a year before.

The drop came after the spread of COVID-19 battered corporate earnings.

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