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Japanese steel unions to seek base pay raises
26/11/2013 - 05:59:05 | Read 1,158 Time(s)

Sources knowledgeable on the matter said that Yomiuri Shimbun Trade unions of leading steel-manufacturing companies are set to demand increases in base pay in the forthcoming round of shunto labor negotiations next spring, which, if realized, would be the first in 14 years.

The trade unions of Japan’s No 1 steelmaker, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Corp and No 2 JFE Steel Corp plan to seek basic pay scale raises in the 2014 spring labor offensive. Other major steel manufacturers’ trade unions are poised to follow suit.

Labor-management pay raise negotiations in the steel industry are held biannually.

The sources said that the exact amounts of the requested wage hikes and whether the trade unions will demand pay-scale increases for both 2014 and 2015 have yet to be decided.

According to the sources, the trade unions are considering prioritizing demands for higher wages especially for younger employees, whose salaries are considerably lower than those of older workers.

The last pay-scale increase for workers of major steel companies was implemented in 2001 in accordance with a labor-management accord in the 2000 shunto for workers of the then Nippon Kokan Corp, the predecessor of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp and several others.

The sources said that to deal with intensifying competition with steelmakers in such countries as China and South Korea, domestic management and labor have since made joint efforts to curb rises in personnel costs.

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