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16 Mär 2022

The Japan Times

Japan: Major Japanese firms offer higher pay raises, accepting wage demands in annual wage negotiation

"Major Japanese firms offer higher pay raises, accepting shuntō wage demands" 16 March 2022

Many major Japanese automakers and electronics firms have fully accepted pay demands by labour unions, while major steel-makers and heavy machinery companies have revived pay-scale increases, as this year’s shuntō labour-management wage talks reached their climax on Wednesday.

The companies offered bigger wage increases than they did in last year’s talks as they recovered from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite uncertainty in the outlook for the Japanese economy due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The focus is now likely to shift to whether smaller companies will be able to raise wages.

Nissan Motor Co. has fully accepted its labour union’s demands for a monthly wage hike of ¥8,000. Toyota Motor Corp. already agreed on March 9 to fully meet the demands of its labour union.

In a rare move for electronics makers, Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. have all fully accepted their labour unions’ demands, agreeing to a pay-scale increase of ¥3,000.

Panasonic Corp., Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. agreed to a pay-scale increase of ¥1,500. Last year, major electronics makers offered an increase of ¥1,000.

Among major steel-makers, whose talks cover the coming two years, Nippon Steel Corp. offered a pay-scale increase of ¥3,000 for fiscal 2022 and ¥2,000 for fiscal 2023. There were no pay-scale increases by major steel-makers in fiscal 2020 and 2021.

Heavy-machinery manufacturers Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and IHI Corp. revived pay-scale increases following no such rises last year, agreeing to a hike of ¥1,500.

Many labour unions increased their wage demands in this year’s shuntō talks. The labour unions of electronics makers demanded a pay-scale increase of ¥3,000, up by ¥1,000 from the previous year.