RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) held a meeting of its Central Committee on December 2 and decided its policy for the 2015 spring struggle for the betterment of livelihood (shunto). Industrial federations will decide their policies in January, and company-based unions will submit their demands in mid-February, after which labour-management negotiations will begin.
RENGO's Policy: Wage Hike of 4% or More
RENGO will continue its demand for wage hikes in the 2015 spring struggle with the targets of breaking away from deflation and realizing a positive economic cycle by raising and consolidating the base and correcting inequalities. In particular, RENGO's campaign will focus on correcting the wage gap between large corporations and small and medium-sized companies and raising the lowest level of society as a whole. In the 2015 spring struggle, RENGO will not tolerate the widening of inequalities and will boldly address the various irrationalities facing working people and society, striving to realize its vision of "a secure society centered on work as its core."
Specifically, in consideration of the current economic recovery and price increases, RENGO calls for ensuring a regular wage hike of about 2% and, from the perspective of consumer price increases over the past fiscal year and the fair distribution of corporate earnings, a further wage increase of more than 2% aimed at realizing a positive economic cycle.
※The climax of negotiations, in which large unions especially will reach settlements, is expected to come in mid-March.
Unions in Small and Medium-Sized Companies to Demand 10,500 Yen Hike
Aimed at correcting the gap with large corporations and vitalizing small and medium-sized companies and nonmetropolitan regions, RENGO's recommended demand for unions in small and medium-sized companies is 6,000 yen excluding the regular wage hike and 10,500 yen including a regular wage hike of 4,500 yen. This demand includes a hike to correct the wage disparity with large corporations. The average wage in small and medium-sized companies surveyed by RENGO is 249,880 yen. From the same survey, RENGO estimates the average regular wage hike to be around 4,460 yen.
Demand for Hourly Wage Hike of 37 Yen for Part-time Workers
While taking regional characteristics and occupations into consideration, the campaign to raise the hourly wage of part-time workers seeks to realize equal treatment with regular employees and strengthen the social repercussions. In 2015 demands will include the introduction of wage-hike rules, including RENGO's target of an "hourly wage of at least 1,000 yen for everyone," and the payment of bonuses. As a guideline for hourly wage hikes, RENGO urges unions to demand an increase of 37 yen.
※In many cases the bonuses usually paid to regular employees are not paid to part-time workers. Even when part-time workers do receive bonuses, they are much lower than the bonuses of regular employees.
Efforts to Realize the Movement's Other Wheel: Policy and System Demands
As well as efforts to improve wages and other working conditions, the 2015 spring struggle will involve demands to the government to realize or improve the following priority issues in order to better the lives of all workers and correct disparities:
(1) Integrated promotion of industrial policy and employment policy to realize a positive economic cycle
(2) Ensuring of job stability and fair working conditions
(3) Further promotion of a social security system supporting all generations
(4) Realization of fair, coordinated, and convincing tax reform
(5) Promotion of improved conditions for temporary and part-time staff in the public sector and the rationalization of public contracts