Japan Steelmaker Unions File Pay Hike Demands

Economy

Tokyo, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)--Labor unions at major Japanese steelmakers submitted their pay increase requests to the management side on Friday, marking the full-fledged start of the country's "shunto" spring wage negotiations this year.

In this year's shunto talks, the labor and management sides take the unusual stance of sharing the objective of achieving wage growth that outpaces inflation. Many major companies will give their responses to unions' wage hike demands on March 13.

The labor union of Nippon Steel Corp. demanded a monthly pay-scale increase of 30,000 yen, the highest level in 49 years. The labor unions of JFE Steel Corp. and Kobe Steel Ltd. also requested a monthly pay-scale hike of 30,000 yen.

They are demanding a pay increase equivalent to as high as 10 pct of base salary. The labor unions of major steelmakers hold wage talks every two years, leaving their pay increases slower than the pace of soaring prices.

Naomichi Kono, head of the Federation of Nippon Steel Workers' Unions, told management that "continuous wage increases that outpace inflation are needed to ensure sustainable economic growth."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press