No pay hikes for many irregular workers at spring negotiations in Japan

A group of non-regular workers looking for pay hikes in Japan says nearly half the firms involved have not agreed to their demands at spring wage negotiations.

The group said at a news conference on Thursday that about 30,000 workers demanded 10-percent or more wage increase from 107 employers. Fifty-five percent of the companies have responded so far.

But the group said the average increase is only 3 to 4 percent, and the remaining 48 firms have yet to agree to boost salaries.

The group also stated that about 70 percent of the respondents in a survey for part-time and temporary staff conducted this month said they got no raise at all.

The group says it is unusual for non-regular employees to fight for and win wage hikes, and they will continue the talks as the results have been minimal so far.

There were more than 21 million irregular workers in Japan last year, accounting for 37 percent of the country's workforce.