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Rengo urges member unions to ask for 4% pay hikes at shunto

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, adopted its policy on next year’s shunto labor-management negotiations at a Central Committee meeting on Tuesday, calling on member unions to demand pay hikes of some 4 percent, including increases of about 2 percent in pay scales.

The Rengo policy includes a pay scale hike demand for the fifth straight year. The demand for growth of about 2 percent is the same as in 2016 and 2017.

Speaking to reporters the same day, Rengo President Rikio Kozu stressed the need for pay growth as Japan is continuing to combat deflation. “We aim to strengthen our ability to deliver messages in order to have everyone in the society consider this as his or her own issue,” he said.

Based on the Rengo policy, member industry union groups will draw up their own policies on the 2018 shunto talks, in which major automakers and many other large companies will show their responses to labor demands on a certain day in March.

In October, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he expects companies to carry out 3 percent pay hikes in 2018. In response, the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, is slated to encourage member companies to raise monthly salaries by 3 percent.

Major companies in Japan conducted monthly pay hikes of over 2 percent for four years in a row through this year.Speech

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