Home Economy News Japan’s major union wins big pay hikes for some members, talks continue

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


Japan’s major union wins big pay hikes for some members, talks continue By Reuters

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Published Mar 06, 2024 10:34PM ET

© Reuters. 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 (Reuters) – 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% 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 normalise monetary policy.

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%, 4% of which are to be in base pay hikes, at this year’s Japan’s wage talks negotiations between blue-chip companies and unions.

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.

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% or more this year.

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

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