KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
The Result of the 2007 Basic Survey on Trade Unions
27 December 2007
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
- The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced “The Result of the 2007 Basic Survey of Trade Unions “ (as of June 30, 2007) on December 27, 2007. Big characteristics of the result of the survey are that the number of trade union members had turned for increase after an interval of 13 years stopping a tendency to decrease, and that the number of trade union members of JTUC-RENGO had increased after an interval of 8 years.
Since the collapse of the bubble economy, the companies had forced reducing the number of their regular employees and increased non-regular workers. Moreover, mass resignations of the baby-boom generation had started. These had led to a severe circumstance where both the number of trade union members and union density rate had continued to decline. The fact that the total number of trade union members had turned to increase is evaluated to be bearing fruits through the efforts made by the affiliates of JTUC-RENGO and local RENGOs for the meantime.
- In summarizing the Survey Result, the total number of the employed is 55,650,000 as of June 2007 (an increase of 480,000 persons compared with the previous year) and the membership of the basic units of trade unions is 10,080,000, an increase of 40,000 persons compared with the previous year. While the estimated rate of union density is 18.1%, a decline of 0.1% compared with the previous year, it could remain in 18%. The number of the basic units of trade unions is 58,265. The membership of JTUC-RENGO calculated by the total number of the members of its affiliates and local RENGOs is 6,750,000 which constitutes 67.0% of the total number of trade union members. The members of JTUC-RENGO had increased by 101,000 persons compared with the previous year.
- If we look by branch sizes or by types of employment, out of 7,997,000 trade union members in the private sector (an increase of 110,000 persons compared with the previous year), the number of those who belong to the enterprises which employ 1,000 and more employees is 4,615,000 (57.7% out of the total), occupying about 60% of the total, and then 1,236,000 persons for the size of 300-999 (15.5% out of the total), and 702,000 persons for the size of 100-299 (8.8 % out of the total).
On the other hand, the number of short-time employment workers is 12,180,000, an increase of 310,000 persons compared with the previous year and occupies 21.8% of the total number of the employed. The number of trade union members of part-time workers is 588,000 persons (an increase of 73,000 persons or 14.2% compared with the previous year) and the rate that occupies in the total number of trade union members is 5.9%. Estimated union density rate of part-time workers is 4.8%, an increase of 0.5% compared with the previous year.
- Over the last six years, JTUC-RENGO has set “Organizing Unions: Action Plan 21” to place expansion of organization on its top priority, and its affiliates and local RENGOs have strongly committed themselves in organizing. Their efforts have been shown in the increase of the JTUC-RENGO membership of this time, but if we look at the organization rate, it still remains at a low level. We cannot say that declining tendency has been reversed. In order to improve social status of the working people and to establish a fair society, it is essential to gain further participation of the working colleagues in trade union movement. In this meaning, JTUC-RENGO must strengthen its involvements in further expansion of its organization.
- JTUC-RENGO, along the line of its “Organizing Unions: 4th Action Plan 21”, is tackling the target of expanding its organization by organizing 650,000 workers more (out of whom 160,000 are non-regular workers including part-timers). Moreover, JTUC-RENGO established “Center for Non-regular Employment” in October 2007, and is promoting the support for and solidarity with the non-regular workers who occupy 30% of the employed, thus intending to promote the organizing of them. With the re-affirmation of all member organizations that the result is all in the expansion of organization, JTUC-RENGO is determined to endeavor for revival of a targeted 7 million strong JTUC-RENGO with the solidarity of all member organizations.