Japan’s largest business lobby sees blanket wage hikes as “unrealistic”
Japan’s largest business lobby, Keidanren, views a blanket wage hike across the country as “unrealistic”, it said Tuesday as it braced for salary negotiations with labour unions.
As the business lobby unveiled a guide to the upcoming wage talks slated to be wrapped up in mid-March, it stressed that the priority should be to protect jobs, rather than wage hikes, against a backdrop of the economic uncertainty and health crisis.
The country’s largest labour organisation, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, otherwise known as Rengo, has called for a uniform base wage hike around 2%.
Until last year, major businesses in Japan had raised wages more than 2% each spring for six consecutive years as the government pressured firms to increase wages to beat inflation and stagnation rates.
According to the guidelines issued, a base pay hike should be an option for companies benefiting from increased earnings.
The business lobby, which has large companies as members, questioned Rengo’s target of a 2% pay hike, adding that it will be tough to get the backing of labour unions and management.
In recent years, Japanese companies have been taking a varied approach to remuneration, shifting away from uniform wage increases and steering instead toward merit-based pay rather than seniority-based wages to lure younger, skilled workers.