Japan Biz, Labor Leaders Remain Apart over Monthly Pay Hikes

Economy Society

Tokyo, Feb. 5 (Jiji Press)--The leaders of Japan's largest employers' group and labor union umbrella body remained apart over monthly pay hikes as this year's "shunto" labor-management negotiations started in earnest on Tuesday.

"We continue to keep our focus on monthly wages," Rikio Kozu, president of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, said at the start of the day's meeting with Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren.

"Honestly speaking, it's difficult to ask our member companies to raise monthly pay in a uniform manner," Nakanishi told reporters after the meeting.

Labor unions at major companies, such as automakers and electronics makers, will later submit wage and other demands to management. The shunto process is set to culminate on March 13, when the major companies will give their responses.

During the meeting, which marked the full-fledged start of the annual negotiations, Kozu sought cooperation to correct the wage gaps between large and small firms. "It's important for large companies to optimize their business contracts with small companies and distribute appropriately the added value created in the overall supply chains," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press