Unions In Japan Want The Biggest Wage Hike In 30 Years



The shunto labor-management discussions this year saw an unprecedented spike in salary raise demands, according to preliminary data from the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo). 3,102 member unions submitted weighted average pay rise requests, which is 5.85%.

Furthermore, this is the first time in thirty years that the average has above the 5% barrier found in previous final survey findings.

Rengo President Tomoko Yoshino said that a number of variables are coming together to cause this trend. The unions want significant salary increases due to various factors, such as increasing prices, labour shortages, and improved corporate earnings.

Related link: Top Japanese Business Lobby Wants Wage Hike Above Inflation

In addition, the requested rise amounts to 17,606 yen (US$119.81) on average per employee, which is a 2,268-yen (US$29.05) increase over the previous year’s data. Over half, or 52.3%, of the unions covered by Rengo’s tally of shunto requests, or 3,726 labour unions, have already submitted their demands to management.

Unions with less than 300 members are also requesting an average rise of 5.97%, which is higher than the 5.84% requested by larger unions with more than 300 members. Yoshino saw this as possibly an indication that businesses are realising how important it is to invest in their personnel.

Lastly, the yearly spring wage negotiating procedure known as “Sunto” is carried out by Japanese labour unions and business. According to The Japan Times, Rengo is advocating for a 5% increase in the minimum wage for 2024, along with modifications to pay scales and periodic rises.

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