According to Japanese media reports, Toyota Motor Corp group’s labor federation will push for a unified rise in base wages, a major step towards permanent wage increases that will be key to ending Japan’s decade and a half of deflation.
Public broadcaster NHK said that the 329,000-strong Federation of All Toyota Workers’ Unions plans for the first time in five years to ask its member unions to seek higher base salaries in wage negotiations next spring.
The federation, whose 312 unions represent workers at the world’s largest automaker as well as its sales outlets and major suppliers in Japan, declined to confirm the report. A federation official said the group had yet to reach a consensus on the matter. Such a move would make it the first of Japan’s big labor federations to seek base pay increases, potentially setting the pace for wage demands at other big firms.
Toyota, which employs around 69,000 people in Japan, last raised base pay in 2008, according to the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in October that he would consider passing along a portion of the company’s higher profits to workers in the form of increased pay, but added that he would wait for the union to make a move when asked about a potential base salary hike.
Toyota expects its operating profit to jump 70 % in the year to April to 2.2 trillion yen ($21.4 billion), near a record set before the Lehman Brothers crisis, helped by the weaker yen.