RENGO Statements and Views

Spring Offensive 2015: A Statement on Negotiations so Far

18 March 2015
Rikio Kozu, General Secretary
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO)
  1. Today, the spring offensives (shunto) of several trade unions came to a climax. The unions are demanding increases in monthly wages that will help Japan move out of its deflationary state and create a virtuous economic circle. The management responded today to the demands of these unions.
  2. The negotiations so far have revealed that labor and management share the view that they both have important roles in realizing a positive cycle of the economy and creating a virtuous economic circle. However, management has kept an extremely cautious stance regarding the unions’ wage demands on the grounds that increases in monthly wages will raise corporate management costs over the medium and long term, and that the future remains uncertain. Thus, the negotiations were hard fought until the end.
  3. As of 6 p.m. today, 94 unions had drawn responses from management that offered higher wages than last year. Although management’s offers fall short of the unions’ demands, the unions played an important role in the early stages of the negotiations by securing offers of higher wages.
  4. In the current spring offensive, RENGO aims to secure living standards of all workers and eliminate income disparities. RENGO will do its best to ensure that the offers of higher wages that the management has proposed to so far will be enjoyed by union members in SMEs and, indeed, all workers. To this end, we will repeatedly appeal to the society that all workers, regardless of whether they are regular or non-regular workers, whether they are a unionized or not, and whether they work for large or small enterprises, need increases in their monthly wages. Larger unions will step up their support for unions at affiliated and group firms, and RENGO local organizations will work with local affiliates to support smaller unions. Together, RENGO, our affiliates, and our local organizations or the RENGO Locals will strive at all levels to achieve these goals.
  5. Unions that remain in negotiations should take stock of the results gained so far and do their utmost to persuade management to meet the workers’ demands by the end of March.