Labor unions at major Japanese automakers submitted their wage demands to the management side on Wednesday for this year’s shuntō labor-management talks, demanding substantial pay hikes amid soaring prices.
The requests also reflected a wish to attract capable personnel, as the industry is in what is called a once-in-a-century period of transformation, marked by a shift to electric and autonomous vehicles.
In the consumer electronics industry, the unions of Toshiba and NEC also filed their wage requests the same day.
Unions of major companies are making final preparations for the spring wage negotiations with management toward March 15, when many employers will give their responses.
The union of Toyota demanded a monthly wage increase of between ¥3,570 and ¥9,370 depending on job type and position.
The union did not disclose its average wage hike demand per worker, but it said this year’s request represents the highest demand in 20 years. It also said that the request includes a pay-scale increase after keeping silent on the matter in the past two years.
The union of Honda sought a pay-scale hike worth ¥12,500, the highest level in 30 years. Including regular pay increases, its pay hike demand totaled ¥19,000.
The union of Nissan requested a wage increase totaling ¥12,000 per month, while the Subaru union demanded a hike worth ¥10,200. Their demands reached the highest levels since the current style of making wage demands began.
The wage demands have resulted from higher prices due to inflation, Akihiro Kaneko, president of the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions (JAW), the umbrella body for labor unions of automakers, told a news conference.
For this year’s shuntō talks, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or Rengo, the country’s biggest labor group, requested that management prioritize pay-scale increases.
Still, JAW stopped short of presenting specific request levels, such as those for pay-scale hikes, for the fifth consecutive year as it hopes to narrow the wage gap between large and small companies in the industry.