Time for a pay rise! Open Seminars Sunday Oct 19 – All Welcome!

Oct 10, 2014


Osaka: Sunday, October 19 from 2pm (branch meetings from 4pm)
Nagoya: Sunday, 5 October from 2:15pm (branch meetings from 1pm)

Main Seminar – Time for a pay rise!
Prices are rising fast and it’s not just the consumption tax either, electricity prices are up 30% since Fukushima while food prices rose by 5.1% in June. Figures for June show inflation of 3.6%. General Union members and other workers  need a pay increase just to maintain their present living standards.

However, wages of most workers are falling. Real wages fell by 3.8% in June. While Abe has urged companies to concede pay increases, and even the head of the employers’ organisation, has urged his members to pay more. The economic recovery may depend on it, but individual employers do not seem to be playing ball.

Maybe they can’t afford it? Well, not according to the Bank of Japan. Japanese companies are sitting on a cash pile of 232 trillion yen, 14% of worldwide corporate cash reserves. Company sales may benefit from increased demand but they would rather leave it to competitors to increase wages and maintain their profit levels. We will not win wage increases unless we are prepared to fight for them.

Come along and hear how we can organise our workmates and colleagues to win pay increases.

Mini Seminars (some seminars not available in Nagoya)

Organising to win pay increases
The union’s recent strike of 50 teachers at ECC which beat the company’s attempt to replace a pay rise with a yearly bonus saw the union win both a pay rise and a bonus. Not only was the union able to beat the employer’s attack on wages, but membership grew when employees saw the union take a strong stand for everyone’s benefit.

Can this be repeated at your workplace? Well, it’s not easy, but the victory at ECC should bean important lesson for all. Other workplaces victories and how we organize to win will also be discussed.

Come learn how workplace unions are built, and how union members have come together to win what many have thought impossible in the past.

Job security for all
Irregular workers, those employed on part-time, limited term, or dispatch contracts now make up more than a third of the Japanese workforce as well as the bulk of the General Union’s members. The tendency is present in education as well as private companies. They now account for 36.8% of the total.

Legal measures such as the amendment to the Labour contract law have been weak and have so many loopholes that they may even have worsened the situation. The government has further undermined the law and now wants to remove restrictions on dispatching.

The General Union fights for permanent direct and employment for these workers and for equal treatment with sennin/seishain. However, in the short-term we are often faced with the task of keeping our members in their jobs. This seminar will look in detail at the fight for job security for these workers.

Equal pay for equal workl
A new poverty report shows that nearly 20 million now live below the poverty line and 80% of these people are the “working poor”, those working in non-permanent, temporary or part time jobs.

Women often suffer the worst of this job discrimination as over 57% work as temporary workers. This has pushed the wage gap between men and women to 29% percent and a shocking 39% when considering women with children. Single mothers took an even greater hit and earn on average less than half of the national average.

Have the Equal Opportunity Law and laws regulating maternity leave failed? How can we make workplaces where women, regardless of employment or parental status, can participate equally in the workforce?