2010 New Year Appeal

06 January 2010
Last year, we could realize a change of political power that we had so longed for. The change of political power occurred for the first time in the past almost 60 years with the exception of a certain post-war period. Brought about through the voting behavior of the voters, the change was a historic and epoch-making event for the democracy of Japan. Four months have passed since then. The stance of the Hatoyama government to try to establish a new political style as seen in making policy formation and public discussion can be highly recognized. Furthermore, we expect the government not only to draw up individual policies but also to map out early enough a grand design for realizing a sustainable Japanese society, in other words, to work out a medium-term and long-term growth strategy and to boldly promote reforms of social and economic structure.
It is recalled that JTUC-RENGO confirmed, at its turning point Convention held last year commemorating its 20th anniversary, a slogan of “Through Solidarity of All Working People, Let Us Build a Society Filled with Hope and Security!” We aim at creating a society where the value of “working” is shared in common and “the dignity of work” is respected, and moreover where main characters are those who work and live and the highest value is placed on their “happiness”.
Meanwhile, the estimated organization rate or union density rate released last December stood at 18.5 %, up 0.4 percentage point over the previous year and the first upturn in the past 34 years. The membership of JTUC-RENGO affiliates has also increased by more than 70,000 over the previous year. On the other hand, the total number of employed workers decreased by 1,100,000, which reflects how serious and severe the employment situation has been over the last several years. JTUC-RENGO is determined to make efforts for forming a union in every workplace and to further strengthen its activities for reestablishing collective industrial relations and for protecting the rights of the working people. Moreover, JTUC-RENGO must play further its social role and function as trade union movements through recovering a “seven million-strong JTUC-RENGO” as soon as possible.
In order to rid working people of their future anxieties, JTUC-RENGO will work on the rebuilding of the system of “security” through improving “employment safety net” for all working people in such fields as employment maintenance and security, perpetual measures for job-finding supports and continuing supports for the poor and the needy, and through improving “social safety net” in such systems as medical care, pension and nursing care.
We, the national trade union center JTUC-RENGO, member affiliates and local RENGOs, are determined, recognizing our own roles and responsibilities to be played respectively, to strongly develop our activities for “Building a Society Filled with Hope and Security through Solidarity of All Working People”.

5 January, 2010
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO)