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Neige Nanako Ryeoyoung
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Neige Nanako Ryeoyoung


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  • 1. Demise of Japanese Trade Unionism Neige, Nanako, Ryeoyoung 1
  • 2. From the Questions... 1. Why they have "moderate" Labor Unions? Ritualized strike/ submissive collective bargaining 2. Is it still effective? 2
  • 3. Overview Features of Japanese Trade Unionism Origin of Japanese Trade Unionism Current Changing Environment Discussion 3
  • 4. Types of Trade Union in Japan Any kind of Trade Union is possible; no regulation More than 95% are Enterprise Unions Single union, universal membership 4
  • 5. Unionization Rate by Size of Private Enterprises Source: Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Labour Force Survey 5
  • 6. Enterprise Unions Why are there a lot of enterprise unions in Japan? Lifetime employment system Difficulty standardizing working condition; difference between big enterprise and small/medium-sized enterprise 6
  • 7. Trade Union Structure Enterprise Union Industrial Organization National Organization 7
  • 8. Trade Union Structure Enterprise Union Industrial Organization National Organization 7
  • 9. Trade Union Structure Enterprise Union Industrial Organization National Organization Only regular members can chiefly do the labor disturbance 7
  • 10. Japanese Features (shuntou, collective bargaining) Wage hikes( ) improvement of working condition (work hrs cut) Around the spring every year 8
  • 11. Japanese Features (shuntou, collective bargaining) Wage hikes( ) improvement of working condition (work hrs cut) Around the spring every year Japan is not going on strike though does the labor disturbance... WHY? 8
  • 12. Japanese Style Strike Strike is done for the period limited for a day or several hours at the early stage of the negociation. Strike is performed management and meeting beforehand, and doesn't aim at an important interruption of production. 9
  • 13. Few strikes in Japan Why is it rarely seen in Japan? 1. Recession has continued 2. Hard to be understood from others; seen as "selfish" What do you think??? 10
  • 14. Birth of Unionism and Prosperity Times End of 19C : begin of unionism WW2 : no activity, forced to stop by gov Post-war : move for restructuration, but division→ 74,500 trade unions in 1980s Union membership in 1970 : 35.4 % 11
  • 15. Origin of shuntou "Spring Struggle for a Better Life" (from 1955) High pressures : strikes, banners, sloganeering →  show of force During economic growth (1960s - mid-1970s), rapid wage level rising, huge bonuses twice / year...  ​→ strong unions, good defense of the workers' rights 12
  • 16. Recession, Weakening of Trade Unions Starting from 1975, low growth, unions become more conciliatory Negociations not at the advantage of the employees Ex : in 1989, 5.1 % pay hike, while GNP growth = 5 % → almost noth Labor union membership in 1987 : 27.6 % 13
  • 17. Grouping Movement Mid-1980s : 4 main labor federations : Sohyo, Domei, Churitsu Roren, Shinsanbetsu Same revendications → fusion to gain strenght 1987 : Domei + Churitsu Roren =  Rengo (National Federation of Private Sector Unions) 1990 : Sohyo + Rengo → one big union, with 6.8 million members nowadays 14
  • 18. Decline Goes On Huge Power loss coincide with demise of Social Democratic Party and Communist Party 15 Ministry of Health, Labor and Wealth, Basic survey on labor unions 2007
  • 19. Premise of Shuntou Rise in price / Economic growth Job stability / Regular employment Seniority-based, equal pay ; solidarity under common goal 16
  • 20. Obstacle to Shuntou Deflation / Economic recession Labor flexibility / Non-regular employment Perform-based pay introduced Gap between companies Competition within workers 17
  • 21. Increases in non-regular and part-time workers OECD Economic Survey of Japan 2006 18
  • 22. Extended Membership Recruit non-regular workers Include non-regular worker issue in shuntou Set up occupation/region based union; include workers in other related firms (subcontractors) 19
  • 23. Trade Union for Whom? Criticism against Rengo's policy for reguar Equal pay for non- regular workers workers Regularize non-regular Job security workers 20
  • 24. Summary Cooperative; do negotiation, but not action Historical facts, (not cultural), has been changing Shrinking role; external Influence from recession /changing employment structure /same strategy 21
  • 25. Discussion "Japanese labor union is not the union of workers, but the union of employers." - Wakabayashi Without collective action, who will represent regular/ non-regular workers? 22