Unions of Automakers Demand High-Level Pay Raises This Year

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Companies’ responses to their labor unions’ demands for basic pay hikes are shown on a white board in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, in March 2019.

Labor unions of major automakers submitted written requests for wage increases to management Wednesday, marking the start of full-scale wage bargaining for this year.

The unions sought higher wage increases than in the previous year, backed by automakers’ strong performance amid the easing semiconductor shortage and the depreciation of the yen. Full-scale negotiations are expected to continue until March 13, when companies announce their pay raises collectively.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The logo of Subaru Corp.
The company flag of Toyota Motor Corp.

Subaru Corp.’s labor union submitted a demand for a total monthly pay raise of ¥18,300 on average per person, much higher than the previous year, to President Atsushi Osaki at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo. The increased demands are driven mainly because of inflation increasing the burden on households and difficulties in securing highly skilled workers.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s labor union submitted a demand for a monthly wage increase according to job types and positions, between ¥7,940 and ¥28,440.

The labor union of Nissan Motor Co. demanded an average monthly hike of ¥18,000, ¥6,000 greater than of last year’s — the highest-level demand since the current wage structure was first put in place.

Increased wages at major automakers are expected to trickle down to small and medium-sized enterprises as the auto industry has a broad industrial base and many business partners.