Saturday, September 14, 2013
Toyota Group Unions To Discuss Base Pay Hike For '14
NAGOYA (Nikkei)--The labor federation for the Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) group will consider forming a unified front to seek higher base pay for the first time in five years, citing improving earnings amid the economic recovery.
"The business environment is undeniably on an upturn," Masamoto Azuma, chairman of the Federation of All Toyota Workers' Unions, said at a press conference before the union group's regular meeting, which started Friday in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture.
- Masamoto Azuma
"Together, we gritted our teeth and pushed through the headwinds from the Lehman shock, the Great East Japan Earthquake and the superstrong yen," he stressed. "We will focus closely on that effort as we deliberate over" the federation's demand for next year's spring wage negotiations. But he offered no details, saying "we will start discussing them now."
In its negotiations with Toyota management over the last four years, the labor group had shelved unified base wage demands in favor of bonuses and automatic seniority-based raises. Other firms in the industry are watching to see whether the Toyota unions can join together to present a unified pay hike demand.
Azuma was also critical of the government's plea to firms to lift wages. Pay discussions between labor and management should reflect each company's condition, he said. "It's fine for the government to set the mood, but intervention would be overstepping its bounds and would destroy the relationship between labor and management."
(The Nikkei, Sept. 14 morning edition)