Sogo & Seibu Labor Union Plans to Launch Strike Aug. 31

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The flagship Seibu Ikebukuro store is seen in Toshima Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The labor union of Sogo & Seibu Co. said Monday that it plans to launch a strike Thursday, as parent company Seven & i Holdings Co. seeks to sell off the department store operator.

The union, calling for the continuance of the department store operations and the protection of employment, notified Sogo & Seibu President Hiroto Taguchi of its strike plan after deciding that it could not expect a satisfactory response.

If the strike goes ahead, it would be the first at any major Japanese department store in about 60 years.

The union intends to call off the strike if Seven & i Holdings promises by Thursday that it will not make a final decision to sell Sogo & Seibu. The union has said, however, that the parent company still plans to let go of its stake in the department store operator on Sept. 1.

Seven & i is looking to sell the unit to a U.S. investment fund.

The union held a meeting with management, including Seven & i President Ryuichi Isaka, in Tokyo on Monday afternoon.