Rengo Seen Seeking Wage Hike of 5% or More in 2024 Shunto

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Rengo President Tomoko Yoshino

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, plans to demand a wage hike of 5 % or more in the 2024 “shunto” labor-management wage negotiations, it was learned Tuesday.

The planned demand compares with the 5 % or so Rengo sought in the 2023 shunto negotiations.

As real wages continue to fall amid inflation, Rengo aims to add momentum to wage growth to realize a virtuous economic cycle.

In the possible demand for 5 % or more, Rengo assumes that seniority-based wages will increase by 2 % and hopes that pay scales will be raised by 3 % or more.

The umbrella body of labor unions across the country is expected to approve the demand as a basic vision at a meeting of its central executive committee on Thursday and formally adopt it at a meeting of its central committee on Dec.1.

A tally by Rengo has shown that wage hikes agreed in the 2023 shunto talks averaged 3.58 %, the highest level in 30 years.

However, price-adjusted real wages fell for the 17th straight month in August, according to the labor ministry. The situation suggests that prices are rising faster than wages.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has set sustainable wage growth as one of five pillars of a package of economic measures to be compiled by the end of this month or later.

“Wage growth must continue next year and the year after that,” Rengo President Tomoko Yoshino has said. “We will work while positioning the coming year as a crucial stage.”