Japan’s auto unions have now asked for a uniform pay increase for the monthly base wages of hourly workers after automakers, led by the world’s largest carmaker – Toyota – are all forecasting record earnings on the falling internal currency.
Japan’s auto companies have workers represented by a total of 11 unions and they will concertedly ask for a 6, 000 yen ($50) monthly raise for the fiscal year starting this April, according to a statement from the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions. The labor group represents the interests of around 766,000 members that work for the carmakers, parts suppliers and dealers. The paycheck increase falls in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call to raise wages needed to support Japan’s recovery from the its fourth recession since 2008. While manufacturers led by Toyota thoroughly took advantage of the boost brought by the continued depreciation of the Japanese yen, pay surges awarded last year failed to make the forecasted dent as spending was capped by the first sales-tax increase in years.
According to a Teikoku Databank Ltd. survey that is conducted every year since 2006, a record tally of 48.3 percent of companies interviewed forecasted higher wages would be offered to employees during the next fiscal year, with the 10,794 companies included in the research saying the average labor costs might surge by 2.5 percent over the coming 12 months. For Toyota, for example, the proposed 6,000 yen increase in monthly base wages would mean a 1.7 percent hike in the monthly salary for the union’s 63,000 workers.