Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker and the biggest employer in Japan said its worker union came up with the biggest wage surge since 1998, rebuffing the increase that would cost it around 20 billion yen ($168 million).
The Toyota Motor Workers’ Union has called for wage hikes that would amount to a total of 13, 300 yen – it proposed earlier this month a 6,000 yen ($50) monthly salary growth for the fiscal year starting this April, up around 1.7 percent. It also added bonuses of 6.8 months of salary and a 7,300 yen average pay lift for seniority or promotions, figures that remain the same as last year. They are not alone calling for the wage increases: all 10 other unions of workers that are employed by Japan’s auto industry companies also demand a 6,000 yen monthly increase for the next fiscal year, according to the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions.
“It is impossible to accept this as it is,” commented Toyota Managing Officer Tatsuro Ueda today in Toyota City, Japan – the automaker’s home base. “It is a higher-level proposal than we expected.” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pressing companies in Japan to boost salaries after supporting them with stimulus and monetary measures that weakened the country’s currency to give Japan Inc an edge when it comes to profits from exports. The exporters, led by Toyota, have seen record surging profits, with the automaker previewing larger earnings than all other Japanese automakers combined for the current fiscal year, set to end in March.