Annual wage negotiations nearing deadline

Wednesday marks the deadline for management to respond to labor unions in annual wage negotiations. Attention is focused on whether workers at not only large firms but also smaller ones will be given pay raises.

The annual wage negotiations are in full swing. Officials at the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery and Manufacturing Workers, or JAM, were busy on Tuesday collecting reports from member labor unions. Some have reported better-than-usual responses, including management meeting their demands in full.

Multiple firms, including one with a payroll of about 30, reported that management also agreed to base pay increases of 9,000 yen, in line with their demands.

JAM president Yasukochi Katahiro says that amid soaring prices, management is well aware of a chronic labor shortage. He says the responses are the result of tenacious negotiations by labor unions.

He adds that so far, many replies have come from larger companies, but that he hopes for positive responses from small to medium-sized firms.