On August 25 the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released its Summary Report of Survey on Labour Disputes. The survey, which aims to clarify the actual state of labour disputes in Japan, investigates such matters as types of dispute action, number of participants, and demands.
In the survey of disputes arising between labour unions and management, disputes involving actual strikes or other action are referred to as "disputes accompanied by action" and disputes not involving action but requiring the involvement of a third party, such as the Labour Relations Commission, for their resolution are referred to as "disputes not accompanied by action."
Specific Survey Results
(1) Number of disputes, etc.
The number of "disputes accompanied by action" in Japan in 2010 was 85 cases, a decrease of 7 cases from the previous year and the third consecutive year of decline. On the other hand, the number of participants in action was 21,262 persons, up 719 persons over the previous year. The number of "disputes not accompanied by action" was 597 cases, down 91 cases from the previous year.
(2) Disputes accompanied by action
The number of strikes of half a day or more was 38 cases, down 10 cases from the previous year. The number of strikes of less than half a day was 56 cases, down 3 cases from the previous year. Both figures showed a decline for the third consecutive year.
(3) Principal demands
The highest number of disputes involved wage demands, followed by demands concerning "management, employment, and personnel affairs" and "union assurance and labour agreement."
(4) Resolution of labour disputes
The total number of disputes in Japan was 682 cases, of which 582 cases were resolved or treated as having been resolved through "direct settlement by labour and management" or "settlement through third-party involvement"; 100 cases were carried over into the following year.
Reference: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Summary Report of Survey on Labour Disputes