Pay scale hikes to be small

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Many major companies, including automakers and electronics makers, on Wednesday proposed raising their pay scales for the fourth straight year, but the hikes will be the smallest in the four years.

“The fourth straight year of base wage hikes will support Japan’s exit from deflation and economic recovery,” Yasunobu Aihara, president of the Japan Council of Metalworkers’ Unions and president of the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions, said at a press conference.

But this year’s shunto wage negotiations between labor and management suggested that the Japanese government’s campaign to press businesses to increase wages, which started in 2014, has been losing steam further, analysts said.

Major companies the same day presented their wage plans in response to requests by their labor unions in the negotiations.

Many large firms proposed keeping pay scale increases smaller than the previous year’s levels for the second consecutive year although the government has called on businesses to grant base wage hikes at least on par with last year’s figures to help spur economic growth.

One factor behind the lower proposed hikes is the yen’s strengthening, which has led to earnings deterioration at a number of companies, mainly manufacturers.

The focus now will be whether midsize and small companies will propose pay scale increases and how large the possible hikes will be.

Among automakers, Nissan Motor Co. offered to raise its pay scale by ¥1,500 per month, down from ¥3,000 agreed between the labor and management sides in the previous year’s shunto negotiations. Major electronics makers Panasonic Corp., NEC Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. each proposed carrying out a pay scale increase of ¥1,000, against ¥1,500 agreed last year.Speech

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