"Demands and Proposals for Policies/Systems" Endorsed

45th Central Committee Meeting: "No Necktie, No Jacket"

10 June 2005
On June 1st, RENGO held its 45th Central Committee Meeting in Tokyo, where attendees endorsed six agenda items including the "2005 Spring Struggle Interim Summary Report" and the "2006-2007 FY Demands and Proposals for Policies and Systems." As this was also the kick-off day for the "RENGO Eco-Life 21: Action Month against Global Warming (June-September)," Central Committee members attended the meeting in no necktie-no jacket attire in a show of support for the Eco-Life movement. President Sasamori said that this was an "issue that RENGO should take the initiative to work on" and called for all participants to work together on it in the workplace, locally and at home so that the concept becomes entrenched in society.

At the beginning of his speech, President Sasamori touched upon his direct dialogues with affiliated organizations reporting that "I have talked with 55 affiliated organizations so far. I have conducted candid opinion exchanges and held dialogues to°°promote understanding with people in workplaces for the purpose of rejuvenating and activating the labor movement." He underscored his idea by saying that "I want issues relating to the constitution, foreign policy, national defense, energy, and peace reorganized so that RENGO can exercise a certain degree of direction over them as well as to overcome the ties of the past four organizations. On the recent debate over Japanese history textbooks among China, Korea and Japan, I would like to propose that we at least read school textbooks once thoroughly."

As for the issue of RENGO union dues and their use/distribution, Sasamori said that "I hope you will let RENGO utilize a part of the 'reserve fund for the struggle.'" He then strongly emphasized the need for "us to conduct a labor movement that will win the people’s sympathy" and proposed the following movement: "building a society sufficiently functions without a medical expense budget and a labor movement that plays a role in support of this." Also he proposed a "joint movement among the four organizations of ROKIN (National Association of Labour Banks), ZENROSAI (National Federation of Workers and Consumers Insurance Cooperatives), ROFUKUKYOU (National Association of Workers Welfare), and RENGO to collectively offer local service for livelihood/labor consulting windows that help provide the way to problem solving." Regarding organizational fortification and expansion Sasamori warned "I want you to take the decline in our unionization rate seriously. The dramatic rise in non-regular employed workers shows that our movement has not been reaching the ground levels." He asked participants to struggle wholeheartedly in order to improve this by strengthening our cooperation with small and medium-sized/local unions as well as with atypical workers.

Moreover, Sasamori touched on the following political and pressing policy issues: "economic and employment recovery," "privatization of the Japan Postal System," "public servant system reform," as well as such priority issues as "fundamental reform of taxation and social security," "the declining birth-rate and employment issues," and "safety problems." In his remarks, Sasamori mentioned that "the JR Fukuchiyama-line accident was a truly regrettable occurrence that we can only grieve for deeply." He emphasized that "the major issue facing workers is to do everything they can to secure safety. The thing we must never become negligent in is checking on and protecting safety as the responsibility of trade unions. To not protect it is our shame. Let us reaffirm here and now that safety is our first priority."

The committee discussed the "2005 Spring Struggle Interim Summary Report," "2006-2007 FY Demands and Proposals on Policies and Systems," "2006 FY RENGO Priority Policies" from the agenda as well as a preliminary draft of the "Concrete plan for conducting Local RENGOs/Local Councils reform."

Members presented supporting opinions regarding the "Demands and Proposals for Policies and Systems" that reinforced responses that deregulation have gone too far as demonstrated by current and excessive competition in limousine and taxi business as well as their opinions on educational problems. Members also spoke out on the "Spring Struggle Interim Summary Report" such as the following people who gave their opinions about activities by enterprise-based unions; "we should reconsider that the principle of the struggle – monthly wages are the base of compensation system – was not fully understood."