Organisations across Japan to observe the country’s biggest wage hike

Rengo, Japan’s largest trade union group, has announced the biggest salary raises on record for employees after protracted negotiations.
By: | March 26, 2024

Organisations in Japan have collectively agreed to raise salaries by 5.25% this year, marking the most substantial rise since 2013. The confirmation came from the country’s largest union group, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC), or Rengo.

The new wage-hike negotiations have been closely watched, with blue-chip organisations the first to wrap up their talks earlier this March and the results of these talks announced in several stages.

The second announcement on the outcome of annual labour talks on Friday was little changed from a preliminary figure of 5.28% from the week before, showing the strength of wage growth. The agreed hike of 5.25% corresponds to an average rise of 16,379 yen (US$108.21) a month.

As several organisations, small firms in particular, reach agreements on pay towards April to June, the average growth of pay hikes is likely to announce smaller numbers than the initial round as more announcements become available.

More results are scheduled to be released on 4 and 18 April, when more small firms come up with their results.

“We will examine how broad the trend of wage hikes is spreading at a meeting on 4 April,” Akira Nidaira, a senior Rengo official told a news conference.

READ MORE: Japanese unions demand highest wage hikes in 30 years

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said the government is counting on wage hikes to trickle down to smaller and medium-sized organisations, as they account for 99.7% of all enterprises and about 70% of Japan’s workforce. However, many lack the pricing power to pass higher costs to customers, reported The Business Times.