INTERVIEW: Smaller Biz Key in Japan Annual Wage Talks


Tokyo, Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--How far small and midsize businesses can raise wages is the focus of this year's "shunto" spring labor-management negotiations in Japan, labor leader Tomoko Yoshino has said.

It is important that smaller companies "reflect higher costs in their prices in order to realize wage hikes and boost consumption," Yoshino, president of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, said in a recent interview.

Rengo will "accept rising prices and work together to achieve wage hikes," she stressed.

With the historic inflation eroding workers' wages and increasing their financial burdens, Rengo, the umbrella body for labor unions across the country, is demanding a pay hike of around 5 pct. But this may not be enough as prices have risen faster than wages.

Noting that Rengo's 5 pct target is based on an economic outlook for fiscal 2022, Yoshino said she "expects each labor union to decide its pay hike request by considering various factors, including rising prices, after grasping and analyzing its own business conditions and wage level."

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