KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Statement on results of the 2006 basic survey on trade unions
21 December 2006
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
- On December 21, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released the results of the 2006 basic trade union survey as of 30 June 2006. This year, the total number of workers was 55,170,000 (which is an increase of 1,010,000 compared to last year) and the number of trade union members was 10,041,000 (a decrease of 98,000 compared to last year). The estimated rate of organization was 18.2% (a 0.5% decrease on year). The size of the decrease in trade union membership has become smaller, but this is the 12th consecutive year that a decrease in membership has occurred. The number of part-time workers was 11,870,000 (an increase of 150,000 compared to last year) and represents 21.5% of all employees, but with an estimated organization rate of only 4.3% (an increase of 1% on last year). There were a total of 59,019 trade unions (a decrease of 2,159 compared to last year). 6,522,000 trade union members, or 65.0% of the total number, belonged to unions that are affiliated with RENGO or local RENGO groups (a decrease of 21,000 compared to last year).
- If we look at the number of trade union members in relation to the size of the private company, those companies with 1,000 employees or over have 4,536,000 trade unionists (an increase of 2,000 since last year) and an estimated organization rate of 46.7% (a 1.0% decrease on last year); companies with 100 – 999 employees have 1,954,000 trade unionists (a decrease of 2,000 since last year) and an estimated organization rate of 14.8% (a 0.2% drop since last year). But in companies that have only 99 employees or less, which is 52.5% of all private companies in Japan, only 291,000 workers have joined unions (decrease of 8,000 since last year) and the estimated organization rate is only 1.1% (0.1% decrease on last year).
- The number of part-time workers was 11,870,000 (an increase of 150,000 compared to last year) and the number of these workers who have joined unions was 515,000 (an increase of 126,000 compared to last year, an increase of 32.4%), with an estimated organization rate of 4.3% (a 1.0% increase compared to last year). This shows that efforts to organize part-time workers are beginning to bear fruit.
- According to these results, the trend towards decreasing union membership, which peaked in 1994 with 12,700,000, has not yet been halted. For the past year, RENGO has been implementing its ‘Building unions: Third Action Plan 21’ and has achieved an unprecedented increase in union membership of 220,000 (of which 120,000 are part-time workers). The momentum for increasing membership is beginning to build. However, despite the strenuous efforts of affiliates and local RENGOs, the organization of part-time workers and workers in small to medium sized companies is not adequate and RENGO is taking the results of this survey very seriously.
- In order to oppose government policy of preferential treatment for companies and justifying wider gaps between rich and poor by calling it names such as ‘employment diversity,’ and also to improve the social position and influence of workers, RENGO will continue to concentrate the combined strengths of all affiliates towards achieving the goal set out in ‘Building unions: Third Action Plan 21’ of organizing ‘600,000 plus alpha’ workers.