On June 2 RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) held the 72nd meeting of its Central Committee in Tokyo to approve an interim report on the 2016 spring labour struggle and confirm RENGO's priority policies for fiscal 2016.
At the beginning of his address, RENGO President Rikio Kozu touched on the earthquake disaster in Kumamoto Prefecture and elsewhere in Kyushu, saying that RENGO wants to provide local assistance from the standpoint of the labour movement.
Regarding the spring labour struggle, President Kozu praised the spirited fight, saying that it had been an "epoch-making struggle." Since the results of wage hikes had spread to the regions, he said, it was important from now on to make efforts to influence minimum wage revision and the National Personnel Authority's wage recommendations for public-sector employees.
Finally, regarding the upcoming House of Councillors election, President Kozu called for efforts to support RENGO's own 12 candidates in the nationwide proportional representation constituency and its recommended candidates in the single-seat constituencies so as to directly reflect the simple questions and anger of workers and ordinary people in politics.
After President Kozu's address and an activity report, the Central Committee proposed a draft interim report on the 2016 spring labour struggle and a draft of RENGO's priority policies for fiscal 2016 to the secretariat; both drafts were approved.
At present about 30% of labour unions are in the process of negotiations in the 2016 spring labour struggle, so the interim report is designed to support unions that have not yet reached a settlement. RENGO aims to issue a final report at a meeting of its Central Executive Committee in August. The gap between the wage hikes of small and medium-sized unions and unions in general is shrinking, suggesting that small and medium-sized unions are breaking away from the structure of compliance with large unions.
RENGO's priority policies for fiscal 2016 were drafted at a meeting of the Central Executive Committee in April, and it was reported that at present demands are being made to the government and political parties. A pamphlet on seven top-priority matters that RENGO will tackle in the coming year is scheduled to be distributed in mid-June. It was also reported that the results of a questionnaire are being collected so that additional support responding to local needs can be provided for reconstruction following the earthquake disaster in Kumamoto Prefecture.
After the Central Committee meeting, RENGO held a general rally for the upcoming 24th House of Councillors election and concluded a policy agreement with Minshinto (Democratic Party) for the election.