Japan's major union wins big pay hikes

Japan’s major union wins big pay hikes for some members

/ 03:29 PM March 07, 2024

Japan's major union wins big pay hikes for some members

Members of the workers’ union UA Zensen watch a video, during a kick-off rally for the annual “shunto” wage negotiations, in Tokyo, Japan March 9, 2023. REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou/file photo

TOKYO   Japan‘s largest industrial labour group said on Thursday that 25 of its member unions have so far had their wage demands met in full from management, agreeing to raise full-time workers’ pay 6.7 percent during annual wage talks that end next week.

The pay hike was the biggest since the UA Zensen, an umbrella group that represents 2,237 unions, was established in 2012, likely adding to the momentum of the ongoing negotiations. Strong wage growth is expected to pave the way for the central bank to normalize monetary policy.


READ: Japan sees growing momentum towards March end to negative rates


Speculation persists that the Bank of Japan may lift negative interest rates at its policy-setting meetings at either its March 18-19 or April 25-26 meetings.

UA Zensen seeks a total wage increase of 6 percent, 4 percent of which are to be in base pay hikes, at this year’s Japan‘s wage talks negotiations between blue-chip companies and unions.

READ: Japan firms offer biggest pay hikes in 30 years, wage growth broadens

Last year, Japanese firms offered workers the highest wage hikes in 30 years. Average Japanese workers’ wages had remained stagnant since the asset-bubble burst in the early 1990s.

UA Zensen represents 1.8 million workers in the service, textiles, distribution and other sectors, making it Japan‘s largest sector-to-sector union.

READ: Japanese firms, unions kick off wage talks


For the second straight year UA Zensen’s pay demand exceeded that of Rengo, Japan‘s largest trade union confederation, which called for pay hikes of 5 percent or more this year.

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TAGS: Japan, negotiations, unions, wage hikes

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