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56th JCM National Convention


The JCM held its 56th National Convention on September 5, 2017. Items discussed at this Convention included the 2018 Action Program, which reinforces the 2017-2018 Action Program and was deliberated and approved. The FY2018 budget and a portion of the rules were also revised. New officers were selected, with ten new officers, including President Akira Takakura, unanimously approved.
 
Gender Equality Promotion Conference

The JCM held a Gender Equality Promotion Conference on June 24 in Tokyo. A total of 52 male and female delegates from affiliated federations and individual unions took part. Following opening remarks from President Aihara, a video message of encouragement to JCM women leaders from IndustriALL Global Union Women Committee Co-chair Michele O’Neil was played.

Participants then heard a case report from Takayuki Ishii, Central Executive Committee Chairman at NEC Group Workers’ Unions, on the topic of “Let’s Change Labor Unions! Unions are Changed by People, and Unions Change People.” He reported on improvements in union activities and training of female union leaders through his experience in organizational reform of his own union.

Next, participants broke into groups to discuss their impressions of the case report and individual cases that they found informative, and gave reports on the state of women’s participation in their own unions and related issues. Afterward, participants exchanged views on issues and areas for improvement in order to promote women’s participation in union activities, discussed issues and ideas for improvement to actualize union activities that facilitate participation by anyone, and delivered their group work reports and the results. Affiliated federation delegates who participated in the group work also gave their impressions and spoke on their aspirations for initiatives to promote women’s participation.

 
20th Domestic Labor-Management Seminar for “Building Constructive Labor-Management Relations Overseas”

The JCM held its 20th Domestic Labor-Management Seminar for “Building Constructive Labor-Management Relations Overseas” on July 14 in Tokyo. A total of 118 participants attended the seminar, including 103 delegates from labor and management in affiliated federations, with 14 representing companies.

With the Tokyo Olympics approaching, discussions at this seminar focused on guidelines for human rights and workers’ basic rights as required by the UN and the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as future trends.

Following opening remarks by JCM President Aihara, a presentation was delivered by Kaori Kuroda, Executive Director of CSO Network Japan, on “Recent Progress in Human Rights and Basic Workers’ Rights: Taking Advantage of the Tokyo Olympics.” She indicated, “In the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), it is the role of the company to assess any risks of human rights violations in advance and take preventive measures if problems are found.” Regarding the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she said that “human rights violations and environmental destruction at construction sites have been noted,” and that she expects the Tokyo Olympics to serve as an opportunity for reforms toward “achieving a sustainable society.”

Next, a report was given by Japan Federation of Basic Industry Workers' Unions (JBU) Central Executive Committee Member Hiroomi Yamaguchi as the first Case Study on the theme of “Economic and Social Circumstances Before and After the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.” Drawing upon his three years of experience at the Japanese Embassy in the U.S., he reported on the unique characteristics and the current status of American society, economy, inequality, and national character. For the second Case Study, Tsuyoshi Kasuya, Deputy Director of the General Policy Bureau at the Federation of All Nissan and General Workers Unions (Nissan Roren), reported on “Nissan Roren’s Network-Building Activities with Overseas Labor Unions.” After describing the status of globalization progress at Nissan, he reported on the background and current status of interchange and network-building with local labor unions overseas. On the significance of this sort of network-building, he stated, “Through fostering a sense of solidarity, mutual understanding in labor and management relations, and information exchange, we can aim for long-term stability in jobs and livelihoods.”

Finally, JCM International Affairs Bureau Director Shinya Iwai, gave the head office report on “JCM Activities for Building Constructive Labor-Management Relations Overseas.” Regarding the international Labor-Management Workshops conducted each year in Indonesia (since 2010) and Thailand, he said that the initial goal was to bring labor and management face-to-face, but today the emphasis has shifted to building constructive labor-management relations through frank discussions between the two parties. He noted that awareness has taken hold that labor-management relations are like the wheels of a car, and his report showed that there have been qualitative improvements.

 
2017 Policy Seminar

The 2017 Policy Seminar was held on April 14 in Tokyo on the theme of “The Fourth Industrial Revolution Today and In the Future.” Following opening remarks from JCM General Policy Committee Chairman Ushio Iwamoto, the head office report was delivered by JCM General Policy Bureau Deputy Director Shigetoshi Asai on “Major Action Items in JCM Policy and Program Issues.”

The first lecture was delivered by Toshimitsu Kawano, Managing Director of Beckhoff Automation’s Japan subsidiary, on “The Current and Future State of Industrie 4.0.” He spoke on Industrie 4.0, the German industry, government, and academia joint initiative to strengthen international competitiveness in the German manufacturing industry, introducing the initiative through examples and speaking on efforts in various countries and the impact on labor.

Next Yota Yamamoto, a fellow at the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, gave the second lecture on the theme “Labor 4.0 White Paper: The Impact of Digitalization on Labor and Society and its Policy Issues.” In November 2016 the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs compiled a white paper to supplement discussions in the labor arena on Industrie 4.0. Mr. Yamamoto explained the relevant changes in employment and work styles, and how to protect against new risks.

 
2017 Spring Labor Offensive  JCM Unified Response Day (March 15, 2017)

6th Strategic Committee Meeting Points for Confirmation

The JCM held its 6th Strategic Committee Meeting from 11:00 a.m. on March 15, the Unified Response Day, and confirmed as follows our interpretation of the responses for the designated unions for aggregating responses, as well as the way forward for the unions in the JC Joint Struggle that will soon be receiving responses.

1. The JCM has determined its basic philosophy for this Spring Labor Offensive: safety, security, and improvements in livelihoods for working people through “investment in people” including wage increases, along with raising the overall level of wages and correcting disparities, and initiatives to build robust workplaces, a robust metal industry, and a robust Japanese economy. With this, our affiliated union federations and individual unions have persevered through negotiations to achieve “pay raises of at least 3,000 yen.” In response, the management side, while displaying a certain understanding of the social responsibility of labor and management and the need for “investment in people,” has not wavered in its cautious stance toward raising wages. It feels a strong sense of crisis regarding the burden of wage level increases due to the past three years of wage increases amidst an uncertain future in world affairs and corporate results, and thus negotiations have been extremely challenging.

2.  As of 12:10 on March 15, the Unified Response Day, among the designated unions for aggregating responses, which are mostly comprised of larger unions, 36 unions have received responses. Although the responses received today cannot be considered fulfillment of all of our demands, each union’s persistent negotiations along with our partnership with the JC Joint Struggle have resulted in ongoing pay raises, marking four consecutive years of wage increase responses. Agreements on intra-company minimum wages have also achieved pay raise amounts at about the same level. When viewed in terms of the basic philosophy of this Spring Labor Offensive, we believe some progress has been made.

(Reminder omitted)

 
2017 Minimum Wage Center Meeting

The JCM held its 2017 Minimum Wage Center Meeting on January 25, 2017 in Tokyo. Nearly 280 central and regional representatives on minimum wage issues from affiliated federations took part. The 2017 Policy on Specific (Industry-based) Minimum Wage Initiatives and other matters were discussed.

After opening remarks from Vice President Takahiro Nonaka (JEIU President), special guest Takashi Suda, Executive Director of the Department of Working Conditions at RENGO, gave a report titled “Minimum Wage Trends and Issues,” in which he spoke about current issues and challenges regarding setting minimum wages, as well as the RENGO 2017 Policy on Minimum Wage Initiatives.

Next, JCM Assistant General Secretary Masahiro Inoue delivered a report on “2017 Policy on Specific (Industry-based) Minimum Wage Initiatives,” after which a general discussion was conducted. Views from participants included: “The JCM has been at the center of industry-based minimum wage system development since the beginning, and has worked hard to continue and advance this system. Given the urgent issues at hand, we need to solidify our mid-term Specific (Industry-based) Minimum Wages approach as soon as possible.”

To close the meeting, Central Minimum Wages Council governing board members Tamayo Tomita, Fumitaka Hagiwara, and Toru Kishino, and Labor Policy Committee Chairman Takahiro Nonaka offered comments, and the meeting was closed with confirmation that all would work to strengthen cooperation in the future.

 
2017 Spring Offensive Meeting

The JCM held its 2017 Spring Offensive Meeting on January 24 in Tokyo. A total of 170 representatives from affiliated federations and individual unions took part. The meeting began with remarks by President Yasunobu Aihara, followed by a lecture by Taro Saito, Director of Economic Research at the NLI Research Institute Economic Research Department, on the topic of “Realizing Higher Wages, the Key to Increasing Consumption.”

 Following the head office report by JCM General Policy Bureau Director Shigetoshi Asai on “JCM Positions Facing the 2017 Spring Offensive,” a panel discussion was held with panelists comprised of the presidents of the JCM’s five affiliated industrial federations on the topic of “Efforts in Each Sector for the 2017 Spring Offensive,” which furthered understanding of the general situation for this year’s Spring Offensive and the unique efforts of each individual federation. To close the meeting, President Aihara led all members in a rousing three cheers for victory in the Spring Offensive and stronger solidarity among the JCM’s five affiliated federations.

 
59th JCM Central Committee Meeting


The JCM held its 59th Central Committee Meeting on December 2, 2016 in Tokyo. JCM President Yasunobu Aihara began the meeting with an address on behalf of the JCM, touching on his awareness of challenges for the 2017 Spring Offensive. He then stated his resolve for the 2017 Spring Offensive, saying, “For the 2017 Spring Offensive, I hope everyone will work toward building Robust Workplaces, a Robust Metal Industry, and a Robust Japanese Economy, with strong solidarity among the five affiliated industrial federations to improve wages and working conditions including pay raises of at least 3,000 yen, improve employment, wages and working conditions for non-regular workers, achieve a fairer cycle of added value in the value chain, and take initiatives toward policy and program demands.”

Next, RENGO General Secretary Naoto Ohmi offered words of encouragement.

Next came reports. After a progress report, a special report was given on the IndustriALL 2nd Congress held in Rio de Janeiro in October. As for the meeting’s agenda, General Secretary Koichi Asanuma proposed the draft for the 2017 Spring Offensive Policy, “The Way Forward for the 2017 Spring Offensive.” Views and requests were received from the five affiliated federations, the head office delivered responses, and the policy was officially adopted with unanimous approval.

 

19th Domestic Labor-Management Seminar

The JCM held its 19th Domestic Labor-Management Seminar for “Building Constructive Labor-Management Relations Overseas” on November 19, 2016, in Tokyo. The first lecture was delivered by Hiroshi Sato from the Institute of Developing Economies on the theme of “Requirements of Japan’s Labor and Management for Building a Sustainable Supply Chain.” Then the second lecture was presented by Kenichi Kumagaya from the Project Planning Committee of the Japan Association for Advancement of ILO Activities on “Social Responsibility of Multinational Corporations and International Rules,” explaining the progress on Japan’s labor-management efforts in CSR and other fields. Finally, Professor Tomoaki Ishii of Meiji University delivered the third lecture on the topic of “Recent Working Conditions in China,” focusing on recent trends among labor NGOs in China.
 
 

48th Leadership Course

 

The JCM held its 48th Labor Leadership Course at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto from October 13 to October 29, 2016. A longstanding gateway for union leaders, this year’s course was held with a theme of “Roles of Labor Unions in These Times.” Learning was conducted in a systematic manner, aiming for total personality development based on four pillars, with learning ranging from practical lectures on topics such as labor law and labor-management relations theory to historical backgrounds such as domestic and overseas labor movements, as well as mental health related lectures with discussions on human relations in the workplace. In addition, the seminars, a vital component of the Course in which participants explore solutions through discussions among students and with instructors on labor union and workplace issues, was divided into five seminars over four sessions, with PowerPoint presentations held at the end of each to share results. Other special programs included “Management and People,” a special lecture in which managers were welcomed as lecturers, and a new special discussion launched with this Course entitled “Talk to the Three Top JCM Officials.” Students also took part in programs to experience Japan’s unique cultural traditions, such as Zen meditation and tea ceremony.

 The completion of this 48th course brings the total number graduates to 1,657, and together with the former East Japan Course the total number of Labor Leadership Course graduates has now reached 2,596.

 
 

55th JCM National Convention is Held

2017-18 Action Program is Determined

New Officers Elected; President Aihara, General Secretary Asanuma Reappointed

 The JCM held its 55th National Convention on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at Plaza Heisei in the Tokyo International Exchange Center. The conference was attended by 281 delegates, 25 officers, and 53 visitors. As guests, a total of 30 individuals from 19  organizations and 18 countries and regions attended, including from Japan RENGO President Rikio Kozu, IndustriALL-JAF President Hisanobu Shimada, and IndustriALL-JAF General Secretary Yoshio Sato; and from overseas, IndustriALL President Berthold Huber and General Secretary Jyrki Raina.

 As for reported matters, Komatsu Union General Secretary Tsuyoshi Tanaka, the 47th Labor Leadership Course Class President, reported on the activities of the course as a representative of the course graduates. A special report was also given on the JCM Third Wage and Labor Policy, which participants confirmed. Outside of the conference hall, an area was set up for display of works made by children at the manufacturing workshops held in 34 prefectures throughout Japan. As for the items for deliberation, the 2017-2018 Action Program was proposed, and after discussions was adopted according to the draft. President Aihara and General Secretary Asanuma were reappointed as officials.

 
 
 

9th Asia Metalworkers' Liaison Conference

 

The 9th Asia Metalworkers' Liaison Conference sponsored by the JCM was held on September 2 and 3, 2016 at Kyoto International Conference Center. A total of 80 delegates took part in the conference, including 39 from the JCM and its affiliated federations, one observer from Japan, and 40 delegates from the IndustriALL head office as well as 20 IndustriALL member metalworkers’ unions from 13 Asia-Pacific countries and regions.

 To begin the conference, JCM President Aihara delivered greetings on behalf of the organizers. After a welcome speech, he asked the participants, “We would like to hear reports from each organization on the challenges faced by metalworkers’ unions in the Asia-Pacific region, and then based on these I would like to further our understanding through a panel discussion as we delve deeper into our common problems and think about measures to overcome those issues. I hope we can all share the experiences, best practices and success stories of each organization.” Then, on behalf of the IndustriALL head office, President Berthold Huber gave a speech in which he expressed his expectations for IndustriALL movements in the Asia-Pacific region.

 The first topic for discussion was titled “Challenges Faced by Asian Metalworkers' Associations.” Delegates from each country reported on issues involving their organizations. Based on each country’s reports, a panel discussion was held from the first day’s afternoon to the second day’s morning, with JCM General Secretary Asanuma serving as coordinator. Delegates from Thailand, Korea, India, Australia took part as the four panelists, with a theme of “Overcoming Challenges.” On the second afternoon, JCM Advisor Seigo Kojima gave a lecture entitled “The History and Spirit of the Asian Metalworkers' Liaison Conference.” Mr. Kojima reported primarily on the history of IMF activities in the Asia-Pacific region, dating back to the establishment of the IMF Tokyo office.

 

Afterward, JCM General Secretary Asanuma spoke about the future direction of the Asian Metalworkers’ Liaison Conference. “Since the first conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 2008, Asian metalworkers’ unions have actively participated and generated great results. We have continued the Asian Metalworkers’ Liaison Conference apart from the regional conferences held every four years since IndustriALL was formed. Through proactive exchange of information, we have played a certain role in efforts such as complementing regional activities and strengthening the power of labor unions in each country and region. However, at the 8th conference held in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia in June 2015, we reviewed the results of this long-held conference and decided to break with the current format of conferences from this 9th session, and confirmed among all members that we would dissolve these sessions. Today we confirm that we from here onward will seek our expectations toward the Asia-Pacific region, the growth center of the world, and seek a new framework for holding these conferences that is appropriate for the IndustriALL era.” Such was his proposal for conclusion, after which three delegates from Singapore, Australia, and South Korea expressed gratitude to the JCM for its contributions to solidarity in Asia as the host of these conferences, and views were expressed in support of the conclusion. The entire hall then approved the conclusion with applause. President Aihara expressed his gratitude toward metalworkers’ unions in each country for their cooperation thus far. As for the future, he commented, “We have confirmed the agreement to continue in a manner appropriate for the IndustriALL era, and the JCM will coordinate with IndustriALL.” Finally, General Secretary Raina reported on the state of preparations for the 2nd IndustriALL World Congress to be held in Brazil in October, and President Aihara reported on the state of coordination with executive committee members in the Asia-Pacific region, after which they delivered remarks to conclude the meeting.

 
 

JCM Holds 2016 Women's Conference

Furthering understanding of domestic and international efforts

toward women’s representation

                                                                                  

The JCM held its 2016 Women’s Conference on the afternoon of Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Japanese Electric Electronic and Information Union (JEIU) Hall in Tokyo. A total of 70 individuals took part, including women’s representation leaders from the JCM Executive Committee as well as affiliated union federations and corporate union associations.

 To begin, President Aihara delivered greetings on behalf of the JCM, noting the progress of the larger trend in women’s representation at all levels both in Japan and worldwide, and praising the JCM’s excellent record of promoting women’s participation, centered around its Women’s Liaison Conference, to fulfill its role as an IndustriALL contact center. He expressed his hopes that the day’s workshop would serve to promote women’s participation at affiliates and individual unions.

 

The first speaker was Akiko Gono, Director of the International Affairs Bureau at UA Zensen and IndustriALL Asia-Pacific Region Women’s Committee Chair, who gave a presentation on “Trends in Women’s Participation at IndustriALL and in the International Labor Movement.” She reported on a case regarding women’s participation in Australia, where she had just visited. She also spoke on the 40% representation and participation rate of women for which revision of rules was discussed at the IndustriALL World Congress in October, stating, “Trends in women’s representation worldwide are at 40% and 50%, so it is proper for an international organization to put forth a 40% target, but our challenge is how to realize this ideal.”

 The second speaker was Yoko Kobayashi of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau’s Equal Employment Policy Division, who spoke on “Trends in Women’s Participation in Japan: Accelerating Female Employee Participation.” Her presentation covered the following topics: (1) In Japan, where the birthrate is falling and society is aging rapidly, promoting women’s participation is the government’s most pressing issue; (2) In Japan, there are 3.1 million women who want to but are unable to work. Moreover, many women are employed in non-regular jobs such as part-time or short-term casual work. (3) Some of the obstacles to women’s participation are recruitment, training, continued employment, and promotions. Looking at the state of balancing work and family, women are quitting because of long working hours, maternity harassment and other reasons; (4) The bill to promote the role of women in the workplace has certain positive attributes.

 

Next a panel discussion was held, with Nobuko Kesamaru, Women's Liaison Conference member (Japan Federation of Basic Industry Workers' Unions, or JBU) as the moderator, and presidents and general secretaries of JCM affiliated federations as panelists, on the topic of “Roles of Union Federations and Corporate Union Associations in Promoting Women’s Participation at Manufacturing Workplaces.” In the panel discussion, panelists explained the state of women’s representation and action plans and promotion programs at each individual union. Finally participants heard from each federation’s presidents and general secretaries about the determination and will toward promoting women’s participation in the future to close out the panel discussion.

 

To wrap up the seminar, JCM General Secretary Asanuma offered these comments: “Efforts to enable women to continue working vibrantly will lead to a society that can function more vibrantly. Developing programs and individuals, improving working hours and work-life balance, are some of the issues we must address together. We are making steady progress, but our goal is still ahead of us.”

 
 
 

18th Domestic Labor-Management Seminar for “Building Constructive Labor-Management Relations Overseas”

The JCM held its 18th Domestic Labor-Management Seminar for “Building Constructive Labor-Management Relations Overseas” in the afternoon of July 20, 2016, at Japanese Electric Electronic and Information Union (JEIU) Hall in Tokyo. A total of 135 labor-management representatives from affiliated federations and companies took part, including 26 from the company side.

 Since October 2007, the JCM has held these seminars twice a year with the aim of “promoting efforts to comply with core labor standards and contributing to constructive labor-management relations overseas.” The seminars spotlight labor-management relations in various countries and are held for labor and management representatives of affiliated federations and companies. This time discussions focused on case studies of individual automakers’ labor-management efforts to cope with globalization, the management environment in Indonesia, and recent labor-management dispute cases and JCM efforts.

 

To start, JCM President Aihara delivered greetings on behalf of the JCM, speaking on its roles from a global perspective as expected by labor and management, among other topics.

 

The first presentation was given by Wakana Shuto, Associate Professor at the College of Economics, Rikkyo University, on the theme “Labor-Management Relations in Response to Globalization: Clues from a German Automakers' Approach.” In this speech, she indicated that “labor unions’ activities tend to be limited to the domestic due to the nature of their organizations, and their responses to globalization tend to lag behind.” She reported primarily on the state of labor-management response to globalization in the German auto industry and the efforts toward network building. Regarding the signing of GFAs, she emphasized

their effectiveness in pr
evention and early resolution of labor disputes.

 Next Yoshihiro Kobi, Managing Director and Independent Director of BFIE (Bekasi Fajar Industrial Estate, Indonesia), gave a presentation called “The Management Environment in Indonesia,” touching on his many years of experience working in Indonesia. He spoke about the importance of day-to-day communication with employees, saying, “It’s important to be patient, don’t get too emotional, and listen to what your workers have to say.”

 

Then Shinya Iwai, JCM International Affairs Bureau Director, gave a case study report entitled “Recent Labor-Management Dispute Cases and JCM Efforts.” He offered his report via case studies of past labor-management disputes in Indonesia. His report focused on cases in which prior labor-management consultations were premature and disputes that occurred due to insufficient understanding of core labor standards.

 

To summarize the seminar, JCM General Secretary Asanuma remarked, “There is no shortage of cases of labor-management disputes. In other words, this means the JCM has a considerable stockpile of knowhow for handling such disputes. The JCM will look at past examples and give all of the advice it can to solve disputes quickly should they arise, especially at Japanese companies in Asia.”

 
 

JCM 2016 Policy and Program Central Discussion Meeting

Subcommittees discuss 2016-17 Policy and Program Issues draft



 
The JCM held its 2016 Policy and Program Central Discussion Meeting on Monday, April 11, and Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture. A total of 121 delegates were in attendance.

 The JCM is working on the formulation of its 2016-17 Policy and Program Issues, and asked for a wide range of questions, opinions, and information on the draft approved on March 30.

 At the discussion meeting, Yutaka Ebigase, Vice President/Chairman of General Policy Committee (President of Japan Federation of Electric Wire Workers' Unions, or JEWU), offered greetings on behalf of the organizers, including the results of past JCM policy and program demands. After an explanation of the draft from General Policy Bureau Director Shigetoshi Asai, participants broke into nine groups and subcommittees for individual discussions on four themes.

 On the second day, University of Tokyo Professor Takahiro Fujimoto gave a lecture entitled “The Future Image of the Japanese Manufacturing Industry: Creating Added Value through the Use of ‘Monozukuri Kaizen’ Instructors.” Then Secretary General Asanuma indicated ideas for amending the draft using the 172 points raised by the groups and subcommittees.

 The JCM 2016-17 Policy and Program Demands are comprised of a framework of four pillars: I. Macroeconomic policy to support the manufacturing industry; II.  Aggressive industrial policy to bolster the manufacturing industry’s strengths; III. Establishment of decent work in the manufacturing industry; IV. Energy and environmental policy that promotes development of innovative technologies. These underwent further discussion and were officially decided at the 22nd Executive Committee Meeting on April 28, 2016. 

 
 

2016 Spring Labor Offensive  JCM Unified Response Day

 

On March 16, the date of the 2016 Spring Labor Offensive Unified Response Day, media representatives and TV cameras packed the JCM head office in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo from morning, and media filled the entrance from 9:00 a.m. From 10 a.m. responses began coming in from JAM-affiliated unions, then from 10:15 JEIU-affiliated union responses came in, and then from JBU, JAW, and JEWU. By 12:30 p.m. responses had been received from most of the major unions.

From 11:30 a.m. the three top JCM officials began the 6th Strategic Committee Meeting, at which they confirmed matters including their reactions to the responses from the designated union for aggregating responses and the way forward for the JC Joint Struggle. In terms of reactions, they said, “Although the responses received today cannot be considered fulfillment of all of our demands, each union’s persistent negotiations have resulted in pay raises for most unions, realizing continuous pay raises over three consecutive years.” In terms of the way forward for the JC Joint Struggle, they remarked, “The most important issues for the 2016 Spring Offensive are continuous pay raises, raising standards and correcting inequality. The JCM will collect and announce the upcoming responses for small and medium-sized unions and continue to support all union efforts through the JC Joint Struggle in order to secure pay raises for all unions.”
 Following the 6th Strategic Committee Meeting, a press conference based on the received responses was held with the three top JCM officials starting at 12:45 and lasting approximately one hour. From 4:00 p.m., a Central Spring Offensive Committee Meeting made up of members of the Executive Committee, the JCM’s executive body, was held, at which information was exchanged about the state of each federation’s responses, matters of the Strategic Committee were confirmed, and future support measures were discussed and confirmed. 

 
 
 
 

2016 Spring Offensive Meeting is Held

Putting all our might into raising wages and fixing inequality!

Pledging to fulfill the social responsibilities of labor and
management in solidarity with the JC Joint Struggle

 

The presidents and general secretaries of the five industrial federations

speak in a panel discussion on the efforts in each sector

 The JCM held its 2016 Spring Offensive Meeting on the afternoon of January 26, 2016, at JEIU Hall in Tokyo. Nearly 180 representatives from member industrial federations and affiliates took part. At the rally, 200 representatives from JCM-member industrial federations and affiliates attended. Moderated by Assistant General Secretary Masahiro Inoue, the meeting began with remarks by President Yasunobu Aihara, followed by General Policy Bureau Director Shigetoshi Asai reporting on the head office’s “JCM Positions Facing the 2016 Spring Offensive.” Assistant Professor Naoki Tojima from the Business School at the Otaru University of Commerce gave a lecture on the theme “Competitiveness Hindered by ROE”. Then a panel discussion was held on the topic of “Efforts in Each Sector for the 2016 Spring Offensive.” Coordinated by General Secretary Koichi Asanuma, the panelists were comprised of the presidents and general secretaries of the JCM’s five industrial federations. This offered the group a better understanding of the general situation for this year’s Spring Offensive and the efforts of each individual federation. To close the meeting, President Aihara led the JCM and the presidents and general secretaries of the federations in a rousing three cheers for victory in the Spring Offensive in solidarity with the JCM.

Participants give three cheers for victory in the Spring Offensive


 
 

58th JCM Central Committee Meeting

 “The Way Forward for the 2016 Spring Offensive” (Spring Offensive Policy) is Officially Adopted

Held on December 4, 2015 in Tokyo


the 2016 Spring Offensive Policy is adopted at the 58th Central Committee Meeting
(December 4, 2015, in Tokyo)

The JCM held its 58th Central Committee Meeting on December 4, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. in Tokyo. Participants discussed the 2016 Spring Offensive Policy, “The Way Forward for the 2016 Spring Offensive,” and officially adopted it according to the draft. JCM President Yasunobu Aihara began the meeting with an address on behalf of the JCM, touching on the following efforts for the 2016 Spring Offensive:

1. Designating the goals of this 2016 Spring Offensive as “breaking free from deflation,” “achieving a virtuous economic cycle,” and “realizing a robust domestic economy.” “Continuing from the 2014 and 2015 Spring Offensives, I hope the JCM in this 2016 Offensive will present specific wage demands so that we may again secure wage increases, make a clean break from deflation, and promote the utmost efforts to realize a virtuous economic cycle.”

2. The two major issues for the 2016 Spring Offensive efforts are wage increases and correcting income inequality. First and foremost in 2016, we must keep small and medium-sized unions in mind and work to increase the number of unions demanding wage increases, as well as the number receiving wage increases.

3. The basic philosophy toward wage demands.

4. Support for non-regular workers.

5. Efforts toward fairness in transactions and a “fairer cycle of added value” in the value chain.

6. Strong negotiations as the negotiating party under the practice of labor-management self-governance.

After stating his views on these issues, he concluded his remarks with this resolve: “The core of this Spring Offensive lies in all industry federations and affiliates working in solidarity with the JCM under the basic principle of labor-management self-governance, working for wage increases, better base standards, and correction of income inequality, and making firm demands and strong negotiations. I hope we will all reconfirm the importance of these principles.” Also in attendance was RENGO President Rikio Kozu, who expressed his resolve that this year’s Spring Offensive marks “the starting Spring Offensive for raising standards,” and added, “I would like to take the power of the JCM’s fight and use it as a wave to propel all of RENGO. Let’s work together.”

  Next came reports. After a progress report, a special report on the IndustriALL Women World Conference held in Vienna in September 2015 was delivered by JCM Executive Committee Member Miyuki Akimoto (JAM Executive Committee Member).

As for the meeting’s agenda, General Secretary Asanuma proposed the draft for the 2016 Spring Offensive Policy, “The Way Forward for the 2016 Spring Offensive.” Views and requests were received from the five affiliated federations, the head office delivered responses, and the policy was adopted according to the draft.     


Japan-Korea Regular Metalworkers’ Discussion Meeting

Reports and discussions held on the themes

“Both countries’ political, economic and social issues”

and “Trends in and responses to revisions of labor laws”

Held on October 27, 2015 in Osaka


Japan-Korea Regular Metalworkers’ Discussion Meeting (October 27, 2015, Osaka)

The JCM held its regular meeting with the Federation of Korean Metalworkers' Unions (FKMTU) on October 27, 2015, at the L-Osaka venue in Osaka. On the Korean side, a total of 32 representatives, including FKMTU President Kim Man-jae, Vice President Jong Il Jin, and General Secretary Kim Sung-su, attended the meeting. From Japan, a total of 44 delegates from affiliated industrial federations and individual unions, including President Aihara and the other top-ranking officers of the JCM, took part. The talks covered political, economic, and social issues, as well as reports and question-and-answer sessions on issues faced by metalworkers’ unions in Japan and Korea today, including trends in and responses to revisions of both countries’ labor laws.

 


47th Leadership Course

Graduation ceremony held on October 17, 2015, bringing total graduates to 1,623

After completing the course, all 39 students pose with their diplomas for this commemorative photograph in the garden of the Kyoto Seminar House.

The 47th JCM Labor Leadership Course was held at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto beginning on October 5, 2015. A total of 39 highly capable students came together from all over Japan for the two weeks of diverse programs in a boarding-style setting. The graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, October 17, with all 39 participants receiving their diplomas from Principal Kozo Kagawa.

 


JCM makes appeals in both Eastern and Western Japan
on the day of action for IndustriALL’s Global Campaign to STOP Precarious Work (October6- 7, 2015)


The three-top ranking officials and executive committee members of the JCM make their appeals as part of the day of action for IndustriALL’s STOP Precarious Work campaign (October 6, 2015, in Tokyo)

 

October 7 was the day of action for IndustriALL’s STOP Precarious Work Global Campaign. On the previous day, the JCM’s three top-ranking officials along with executive committee, international committee, and secretariat members made an appeal in front of the venue for the JTUC-RENGO National Convention. (See photo above)

On October 7, the 39 students in the 47th JCM Labor Leadership Course also took part in the World Day for Decent Work. At the morning meeting on the 7th, after remarks from Assistant General Secretaries Masahiro Inoue and Kenichi Fujitomi, who traveled to the venue to offer their encouragement, the 39 students, who took part in training at the Kansai Seminar House in Tokyo from October 5 to 17, were told by Mr. Fujitomi, who is also the Director of the International Affairs Bureau, that October 7 is the day of action in IndustriALL’s STOP Precarious Work Global Campaign, and that the JCM would continue to its efforts to ensure decent work. After “radio taiso” exercises and a brief walk, the 39 students all made their appeals to STOP Precarious Work.

 

54th JCM National Convention

2016 Action Program is Deliberated and Decided

Some officers reelected




The JCM held its 54th National Convention on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. at the Hotel Lungwood in Nishi-nippori, Tokyo. To begin the Convention, President Aihara delivered remarks on behalf of the JCM on the following topics:

1. The current circumstances

2. Improvements in working conditions and the Spring Offensive

3. The Third Wage and Labor Policy

4. Realizing fair business relations

5. Strengthening of workplace capabilities

6. Efforts to build constructive labor-management relations

7. IndustriALL activities and issues

8. The JCM’s financial status

9. The House of Councilors election.

Guests of the Convention delivered congratulatory addresses: Nobuaki Koga, President of RENGO; Hisanobu Shimada, President of IndustriALL-JAF; and Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL’s Director of ICT, Electrical and Electronics, Shipbuilding and Shipbreaking. Mr. Koga stressed the importance of three keywords for coping with the fast speed of global environmental changes: building society with everyone involved, inclusive growth, and sharing burden. He also reported that he would be stepping down as RENGO president in October 2015 and thanked the JCM for its support.

 Matters reported at the Convention were a general progress report, Spring Offensive progress report, 2015 accounting report, and audit report. As for the agenda, the “2016 Action Program,” which reinforces the 2015-2016 Action Program, was covered, along with “Handling of general account surplus for 2015,” “2016 accounting budget,” and “Reelection of some officers.” These four proposals were adopted according to their drafts.


 

                                          2015 JCM Women’s Conference is held

"Allowing Women to Continue Working Vibrantly in the Metal Industry"


Participants divided into seven groups engage in lively discussions

 The JCM held its 2015 Women’s Conference on Saturday, June 27, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the JEIU Hall Conference Room in Minato Ward, Tokyo. The theme was "Allowing Women to Continue Working Vibrantly in the Metal Industry." A total of 40 women leaders from member industrial federations and affiliates took part in this 6th Conference, with eight representatives from IndustriALL-JAF in attendance. President Aihara opened the conference with remarks, followed by a report from the head office by Assistant General Secretary Kenichi Fujitomi. Then IndustriALL Asia-Pacific Women’s Committee Chair Akiko Gono gave a presentation on “Global Trends in Promoting Women’s Participation.” Next a panel discussion was held on the theme “Roles of labor unions in promoting women’s participation,” after which participants split into seven groups to discuss specific activities under the theme “Further promoting women’s participation: What should be done to change perception in society, the workplace, and labor unions.” This marked the first time the presidents and general secretaries of the five affiliated industrial federations took part in this conference along with President Aihara and General Secretary Asanuma.
 
 

Visits and Policy Meetings with Government Ministries

 Requests submitted in June and July 2015 to nine ministries, the Fair Trade Commission,

and the Bank of Japan, Policy discussions held on Major Action Items in 2015 JCM Policy and Program Issues

 

The JCM visited and held talks with the Ministry of Finance on June 2, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on June 8, the Japan Fair Trade Commission on June 15, the Ministry of the Environment on June 16, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on June 18, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on June 24, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on June 25, the Bank of Japan on June 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 30, and the Cabinet Office on July 10. The JCM held discussions with the goal of realizing policies for four concrete issues raised in our “Major Action Items in 2015 JCM Policy and Program Issues”:

1. Macro-environmental improvements to support the manufacturing industry

2. “Aggressive” industrial policy to strengthen the manufacturing industry

3. Providing “quality employment”(or decent work) in the manufacturing industry

4. Energy and environmental policy to strengthen the manufacturing industry.


2015 Spring Labor Offensive  JCM Unified Response Day

 

 
 

On March 18, the date of the 2015 Spring Labor Offensive Unified Response Day, over 100 media representatives and twice as many TV cameras as usual gathered in the JCM head office in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo from morning, for an event that would attract even more attention than in previous years. From 10 a.m. the designated union for aggregating responses began to receive responses from management. Member union offices contacted the JCM headquarters with their responses, and camera flashes lit the room each time the officers wrote on the white board. From 12:15 the Strategic Committee held a press conference. JCM General Secretary Asanuma presented the points for confirmation of the 6th Strategic Committee, after which President Aihara gave a talk on how the responses should be interpreted. Then the presidents and directors of the five member unions shared their views on their responses, and a question-and-answer session was held.

 The 6th Strategic Committee Points for Confirmation were as follows.

 The JCM held its 6th Strategic Committee Meeting from 11:00 on this, the Unified Response Day, and confirmed as follows our interpretation of the responses for the designated unions for aggregating responses and other unions, as well as the way forward for the unions in the JC Joint Struggle that will soon be receiving responses.

 1. In the 2015 Spring Offensive, a halt in the economy was seen due to a slump consumption triggered by the increase in the consumption tax, and our struggle stood at a crossroads as to whether or not we could truly break free from deflation and experience economic growth. The JCM has worked in this struggle to realize a virtuous economic cycle, to protect workers’ livelihoods among rising prices, and to achieve sustainable corporate development through appropriate distribution of the fruits of labor and investment in people. In terms of pay raises, which will serve as the key to protecting livelihoods and expanding consumption, we made concrete wage demands for the first time in 13 years since our 2002 Spring Offensive. The JC Struggle put up a united front and held repeated negotiations toward a raise of “at least 6,000 yen.”

 2. In response, although the management side understood the need for investment in people and their own roles in management that would help break free from deflation and achieve a virtuous economic cycle, they insisted that they must not hurt competitiveness and threaten jobs with large pay increases, and thus they held their positions firmly through to the end of negotiations.
3. As of 12:00 today, among the designated unions for aggregating responses, which are mostly comprised of larger unions, 25 unions have received responses. Although the responses received today cannot be considered fulfillment of all of our demands, each union’s persistent negotiations have resulted in ongoing pay raises that show clear improvements over last year. Looking at the significance of this Spring Offensive in protecting workers’ livelihoods and achieving a virtuous economic cycle, we believe we have been able to fulfill a certain role.

 (1)Regarding wages, all aggregating unions that have received responses were able to secure wage increases, including basic salary and hourly wage increases. At this stage, the average wage increase amount is 3,013 yen, a significant increase over the amount for last year’s aggregating unions (1,737 yen). We interpret these two consecutive years of increases as putting us on the course toward clearing away the deflationary mindset and realizing a virtuous economic cycle. And looking at the significance of this Spring Offensive in protecting workers’ livelihoods and achieving a virtuous economic cycle, we believe we have been able to fulfill a certain role.

(2) Regarding bonuses, thanks to improved earnings performance across the metal industry, 19 unions received responses that improved on last year’s, one union maintained last year’s level, and no unions fell below last year’s amounts. This shows an overall improving trend. We consider these responses to represent the tenaciousness in cooperation and efforts among each union’s members, and the fruits of our calls for fairer distribution of benefits.

(3) Regarding intra-company minimum wages, at this point 21 unions have secured raises averaging 2,072 yen. These gains will also contribute to higher wages for non-organized and non-regular workers, and we have fulfilled part of our social responsibility as a labor union toward raising overall pay. For unions that will get decisions amid continuing negotiations and discussions, we will strengthen our efforts as part of our social responsibility as a union.

(4) As for efforts to help non-regular workers, as of today some unions have seen concrete progress in responses and forward-thinking views from management. Unions that will continue their negotiations and discussions will push forward with their efforts toward real progress in connecting today’s trend of wage increases to better wages and treatment for non-organized and non-regular workers.

4. As for unions that will soon be receiving responses, we will bring together and publish the responses received by small and medium-sized designated unions and continue our support of other unions in the JC Joint Struggle in order to secure wage increases that are clearly larger than last year’s, just as other unions have today.”


57th JCM Central Committee Meeting

2015 Spring Offensive Policy Officially Adopted

Held December 12, 2014 at Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo in Shinbashi

 
 

The JCM held its 57th Central Committee Meeting on December 12, 2014 from 2:30 at the Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo in Shinbashi, Tokyo. Participants discussed the 2015 Spring Offensive Policy “The Way Forward for the 2015 Spring Offensive” and officially adopted it according to the draft. 

 The Central Committee began its meeting with remarks from President Yasunobu Aihara on behalf of the JCM. In light of the efforts toward the 2015 Spring Offensive: 1) Regarding the significance of the 2015 Spring Offensive, “I hope our current efforts will give us a chance to reconfirm our understanding that this is the first step in the JCM’s new half-century, as well as watershed moment for the Japanese economy and the livelihoods of the citizens.” 2) Regarding the circumstances around the 2014 Spring Offensive, the offered analysis on four points: the economic downturn, trends in corporate earnings, the growth rate of consumer prices, and employment; particularly on employment, he remarked, “We believe that ensuring stable, long-term employment for employees, further strengthening investment in people, working to accumulate technologies, skills, and know-how of workers in the field, and boosting the ‘power of the workplace’ form the core of the personnel strategies that companies should take on in the future and the best solution to economic revitalization. Through these negotiations, we must strongly convey to the management side the need to break free from the deflationary mindset and to act toward these goals. He also spoke on 3) the basic approach toward pay raise demands, 4) non-regular workers, 5) easing of labor laws, and 6) international labor movements, after which he ended his remarks by saying, “The essence of the JCM movement is the ‘power of the workplace.’ I know that the 2015 Spring Offensive labor-management negotiations will not be easy, but we will bring together the silent voices of the workplaces and repay your earnest daily efforts by securing wages and working conditions that ensure the future of workplaces.”

 



41 Elite Next-Generation Labor Leaders Complete Leadership Course

46th Course Brings Total Graduates to 1,584

All participants pose for a commemorative photograph after completing the course (October 18, 2014, Kyoto Seminar House)

The 46th installment of the legendary JCM Labor Leadership Course was held at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto beginning on October 6, 2014. A total of 41 next-generation union leaders came from as far east as Tochigi and as far west as Nagasaki. The main theme of the course was “Roles of Labor Unions in These Times.” Participants took a variety of classes based on four core principles, and divided into five seminars to discuss issues involving labor unions in the manufacturing sector in a boarding-style setting. They completed the course on Saturday, October 18, with all 41 participants receiving their diplomas from Principal Kozo Kagawa. The completion of this 46th course brings the total number graduates to 1,584.


STOP Precarious Work Campaign: Global Day of Action 2014

Working in solidarity with comrades worldwide to realize “a society that ensures decent work”

 

President Aihara and the JCM’s three top-ranking officials, secretaries, and member union delegates make their appeals for stopping precarious work in front of Tamachi Station in Tokyo.

The JCM held street campaign activities for World Day for Decent Work 2014 on October 7, 2014, along with RENGO and the GUF Japan offices, as part of its activities for IndustriALL’s STOP Precarious Work Global Campaign.

 A total of 100 delegates took part in the activities, including JCM President Aihara and the JCM’s three top-ranking officials, secretaries, and delegates from the five affiliated industry-based unions, as well as RENGO and GUF Japan office representatives. The street campaign called on passersby in front of Tamachi and Shinjuku stations to “Stop Precarious Work, Realize Decent Work,” and handed out fliers.


Visits and Policy Meetings with Government Ministries

Opinions exchanged on strengthening domestic manufacturing

and issues involving employment and labor

 

The JCM visited and held talks with the Ministry of the Environment on July 9, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on July 29, the Ministry of Justice on July 30, the Ministry of Finance on July 31, the Bank of Japan, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defense on August 19, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on August 26, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on August 27. The JCM held discussions with the goal of realizing policies for four concrete issues raised in our “2014-15 Policy and Program Issues”:



 
 
 
 
 
 

JCM Holds its 50th Anniversary Reception

 600 affiliated individuals from Japan and overseas celebrate our half-century on the evening of September 2, 2014

JCM 50th Anniversary Reception (Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa)

 The JCM held its 50th Anniversary Reception on September 2, 2014 in Takanawa, Tokyo.  This reception followed its 53rd National Convention and a 50th Anniversary Lecture by Mr. Mamoru Mohri, astronaut and director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, on the theme “Science and Technology as Culture, from the Perspective of Space”. The reception was attended by about 600 people, including convention delegates as well as members of affiliated industrial federations and individual unions, advisors, former officers, and officials from both domestic and foreign agencies, all to celebrate a half-century of the JCM.

 
 

 JCM Invites Astronaut Mamoru Mohri

for 50th Anniversary Lecture

 

 Commemorative Lecture by Mr. Mamoru Mohri

 

Mr. Mohri delivers Anniversary Lecture

 The JCM welcomed Mr. Mamoru Mohri, astronaut and director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, to present a 50th Anniversary Lecture on September 2, 2014 in Takanawa, Tokyo, on the theme of “Science and Technology as Culture, from the Perspective of Space.” The lecture followed the 53rd JCM National Convention and was received by an audience of around 500 convention attendees and guests at the 50th Anniversary Reception.

 

 
 

2015-16 Action Program Determined

 President Aihara, General Secretary Asanuma and other new officers elected

50th Anniversary Lecture and Reception held afterward

 

The JCM held its 53rd National Convention, marking the milestone of the 50th anniversary of its formation, on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, in Shinagawa, Tokyo. At this convention, attendees discussed and approved the 2015-16 Action Program, and launched the JCM's activities for FY2015. An election of officers was also held. President Koichiro Nishihara and General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu stepped down to welcome a new 2015-16 organizational structure led by new President Yasunobu Aihara (the 10th president) and General Secretary Koichi Asanuma (the 6th general secretary). The conference was attended by 283 delegates, 28 officers, and 60 visitors. As guests, a total of 43 individuals from 29 organizations and 17 countries and regions attended, including, from Japan, RENGO President Nobuaki Koga, IndustriALL-JAF President Hisanobu Shimada and IndustriALL-JAF General Secretary Yoshio Sato; and from overseas, IndustriALL President Berthold Huber and General Secretary Jyrki Raina, and other representatives from IndustriALL headquarters, regional offices, and affiliated metalworkers' unions, as well as representatives from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions and Chinese metalworkers' unions. A 50th Anniversary Lecture and Reception were held following the convention.  

 
 

Visit of Encouragement to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

During JCM Energy Policy Roundtable on June 3

 The JCM sent a delegation of 22 members, including its three top-ranking officials, policy committee and secretariat members, to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, to encourage Plant Chief Akira Ono and everyone who has been engaged in the 40-year process of decommissioning the plant. There are currently about 6,500 people engaged in work at the plant, and the employees of Tokyo Power along with the members of the JCM have a strong sense of mission in their devotion to their daily work. The work currently in progress includes removal of fuel from the Unit 4 reactor and prevention of groundwater contamination through construction of an ice wall. As part of measures to improve the working environment, an eight-story, large-scale rest station is scheduled for completion next year, and a food supply center that can supply 3,000 meals is scheduled to be built in the local area by the end of this fiscal year.

 

 
 

Visit of Encouragement to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

During JCM Energy Policy Roundtable on June 3,2014

 

The JCM sent a delegation of 22 members, including its three top-ranking officials, policy committee and secretariat members, to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, to encourage Plant Chief Akira Ono and everyone who has been engaged in the 40-year process of decommissioning the plant. There are currently about 6,500 people engaged in work at the plant, and the employees of Tokyo Power along with the members of the JCM have a strong sense of mission in their devotion to their daily work. The work currently in progress includes removal of fuel from the Unit 4 reactor and prevention of groundwater contamination through construction of an ice wall. As part of measures to improve the working environment, an eight-story, large-scale rest station is scheduled for completion next year, and a food supply center that can supply 3,000 meals is scheduled to be built in the local area by the end of this fiscal year.

 

 
 

2014 JCM Women’s Conference is Held

 Allowing Women to Continue Working Vibrantly in the Metal Industry

Eight groups of participants actively exchange information and opinions

 The JCM held its 2014 Women’s Conference on Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the JEIU Hall Conference Room in Minato Ward, Tokyo, with the theme of “Allowing Women to Continue Working Vibrantly in the Metal Industry.” A total of 47 female leaders from affiliated industrial federations and individual unions took part in this fifth Women’s Conference. Following a panel discussion style look at two case studies from Toyota Motor Corporation and Hitachi Union, the participants were divided into eight groups to discuss the role of labor unions in helping men and women work vibrantly together. This year’s Conference marked the first time committee chairpersons and presidents of the five affiliated industrial federations, who serve as JCM vice-presidents, took part alongside the president and general secretary.

 

 

JCM 2014 Policy and Program Central Discussion Meeting

 

11 subcommittees discuss JCM 2014-15 Policy and Program Issues

General Policy Committee Chairman Yukio Manaka addresses the meeting

 The JCM held its 2014 Policy and Program Central Discussion Meeting on April 16, 2014, in Yokohama to discuss the 2014-15 Policy and Program Issues.

 About 140 members of affiliated industrial federations and individual unions, as well as our friends in IndustriALL-affiliated Japanese organizations IndustriALL-JAF and UA Zensen, took part. The participants were split into 11 groups and subcommittees to discuss issues in greater detail on four themes. Then the Policy Committee was held, in which it was agreed to make reinforcements and modifications based on the many opinions proposed during the meeting.

 At the discussion meeting, Mr. Hiroichi Yoshida, a financial industry veteran who is now president of ELIIY Power Co., Ltd., a mass-producer of highly stable, stationary-use large-capacity lithium ion batteries, gave a lecture on the theme, “Safe Olivine-type Power Batteries for Electricity Storage will Save the World.”

 

 
 

2014 Minimum Wage Center Meeting

 

270 Central and Regional Representatives on Minimum Wage Issues from Five Affiliated Industrial Federations Attend

2014 Minimum Wage Center Meeting (January 29, 2014, Shinagawa)

 The JCM held its 2014 Minimum Wage Center Meeting in Shinagawa, Tokyo on the afternoon of January 29, 2014. A total of about 270 central and regional representatives on minimum wage issues from the five affiliated industrial federations took part.

Labor Policy Committee Chairman Shoji Arino addresses the meeting

The meeting opened with an address from JCM Vice president and Labor Policy Committee Chairman Shoji Arino, who told the group, “It is obvious that a minimum wage for the metal industry based on region-based minimum wages that apply to all workers would be advantageous. Employers should also take pride and consider raising wage levels. We need to take our initiatives by going back to the starting point of special (industry-based) minimum wages.” 

 Takashi Suda, Executive Director of the Department of Working Conditions at RENGO, gave a talk on “Trends and Issues Involving Minimum Wages,” in which he spoke about trends at the Central Minimum Wage Council and RENGO’s 2014 Policy on Minimum Wage Initiatives.

Next, General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu reported on the 2014 Policy on Special (Industry-based) Minimum Wage Initiatives,” after which official discussions were held. Participants expressed views including, “We would like to see efforts made toward a system that allows both labor and management to take initiative,” and, “We want further discussions in both the JCM and RENGO about approaches toward Special (Industry-based) Minimum Wages that consider issues in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Osaka.” Takashi Suda, Executive Director of the Department of Working Conditions at RENGO, along with Central Minimum Wage Council board members Tamayo Tomita, Fumitaka Hagiwara and Tohru Kishino, and General Secretary Wakamatsu, offered responses. The meeting concluded with this agreement: “There is great significance in the fact that minimum wage representatives from all over Japan have come together for this meeting. As we push forward with our special (industry-based) minimum wage initiatives, it is important to expand signing of intra-company minimum wage agreements and raise their wage levels. Let’s work to get results in the 2014 Spring Offensive.”

 

 
 

2014 Spring Offensive Meeting is Held

We will fulfill our responsibility in negotiations until the end

and by all means achieve our demands under the banner of the JC Joint Struggle!

Better understanding of each federation’s demands and initiatives achieved through panel discussion including presidents and general secretaries of five affiliated industrial federations

 

2014 Spring Offensive Meeting panel discussion

 The JCM held its 2014 Spring Offensive Meeting on the afternoon of January 28, 2014 at Pacifico Yokohama. Nearly 190 representatives from affiliated industrial federations and individual unions attended. 

 

 
 

Economic Growth and Ending Deflation Require Higher Pay

 

The JCM gives its views on Nippon Keidanren's “Report of the Committee on Management and Labor Policy” 

Nippon Keidanren announced its “Report of the Committee on Management and Labor Policy” on January 20, which clarified the position management will take in upcoming labor-management negotiations. In response, the JCM promptly presented its views on the same day.

 Japan’s economy has truly entered a critical stage. We cannot stick exclusively to a macro-management outlook under the guise of labor-management autonomy and repeat the mistakes of ending as we did in the first half of the 2000s, during which wage increases did not keep pace with economic recovery. We believe that management should use the next Spring Offensive as an opportunity to fulfill its responsibilities in ensuring economic growth and putting an end to deflation through greater consumption.

 
 56th Central Committee Meeting(December9,2013)

2014 Spring Offensive Policy Officially Adopted

Held December 9 at Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo in Shinbashi

 

“The Way Forward for the 2014 Spring Offensive” is officially adopted at the 56th Central Committee Meeting (December 9, Shinbashi, Tokyo)

The JCM held its 56th Central Committee Meeting on December 9, 2013 from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo in Shinbashi, Tokyo. Participants discussed the 2014 Spring Offensive Policy, “The Way Forward for the 2014 Spring Offensive,” and officially adopted it according to the draft. 

 
 

JCM Policy Study Meeting (November 28, 2013)

Opinion exchanged on critical policy issues

 The JCM held its Policy Study Meeting on November 28, 2013 in Tokyo. At the Policy Study Meeting, the three top officers of the JCM and JCM political advisors, among others, exchange opinions on the policy issues being faced by metalworkers.

 President Nishihara offers opening remarks

 President Nishihara delivered opening remarks on behalf of the JCM. He said, “To ensure growth, a balance of competition and dividends are important; however, I cannot get a sense of what kind of society this current administration is aiming for. With signs of the deterioration of worker protection rules, working people are facing a critical situation. While standing up against Prime Minister Abe’s administration, I would like to ask the Democratic Party of Japan to promote policy from the viewpoint of working people.”
House member Ohata speaks on behalf of political advisors

 Then Executive Political Advisor and House of Representatives member Akihiro Ohata addressed the group on behalf of JCM political advisors. A summary of his comments: “It all starts with taking action with the people. The DPJ wants to make it clear that people are the center of its outlook on issues. We have created a poster that reads, 'Protect lives, jobs and livelihoods.' I will do my best to ensure that our party can come back as a trusted party.”

Later, participants exchanged opinions on issues including approaches toward wage increases, the need for shoring up society as a whole, and growth strategy.

 
 

8th International Labor Training Program Held in Thailand

October 27-November 3, 2013; 31 participants

 Japan-Thailand Metalworkers’ Exchange Conference

The JCM held its 8th International Labor Training Program in Bangkok, Thailand from October 27 to November 2, 2013. Thirty-one delegates from the five JCM affiliated industrial federations took part, including 4 female delegates.

To better understand the perspectives of the government, management, and unions on the labor situation in Thailand and labor-management relations, the participants spent October 28 and 29 visiting the Embassy of Japan in Thailand, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Thailand office, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS) Thailand office, the Japan International Labour Foundation (JILAF) Thailand office, the Employers' Confederation of Thailand (ECOT), and the Thai Ministry of Labour, and held informal talks with each.

 On October 30, a “Japan-Thailand Metalworkers' Exchange Conference” was held in the Bang Na district of Bangkok with the Confederation of Thai Electrical Appliances, Electronic, Automobile and Metalworkers (TEAM) and the Automobile Labour Congress of Thailand (ALCT). The JCM, TEAM and ALCT delegates each offered reports on topics including “Communication with the Company: A System for Communicating with the Company on a Daily Basis” and “Communication with Union Members: Communication in the Workplace and Awareness of Union Members,” after which understanding was furthered through a question-and-answer session.

 Then with the purpose of further study of labor-management relations at actual workplaces, the JCM visited Panasonic Thailand on October 31 and Nissan Motor Thailand on November 1 to tour the factories and conduct informal talks with workers and management. The JCM then visited each of the head offices of TEAM and ALCT in order to deepen understanding of the activities of industrial federations in Thailand’s metalworking sector.

Picture:Visit to TEAM head office(left), Visit to ALCT head office(right)
 
 

Acting JBU President Sawada Appointed
to Succeed JCM Vice President Kozu

Officer Appointment Confirmed at 15th Executive Committee Meeting

 At the 15th JCM Executive Committee Meeting held on October 25, 2013, on the occasion of the selection of Vice President Rikio Kozu (Chairman, Japan Federation of Basic Industry Workers' Unions (JBU)) to become RENGO General Secretary at the RENGO Convention (October 3-4), Acting JBU President Mr. Kazuo Sawada (IHI) was chosen to succeed Mr. Kozu as Vice President of the JCM. The selection was made through discussion at the 4th Officers Selection Committee upon official decision by the JBU and RENGO.

Kazuo Sawada, Vice President, JCM (Deputy President, JBU)

 
                              
Japan-Korea Regular Metalworkers’ Discussion Meeting

(October 23,2013,Yokohama)

Discussions held on challenges facing metalworkers’ unions in Japan and Korea,

including retirement systems, working hours and minimum wages

 Held on October 23, 2013 in Yokohama

Japan-Korea Regular Metalworkers’ Discussion Meeting (October 23, 2013, Yokohama)

The JCM and the Federation of Korean Metalworkers’ Trade Unions (FKMTU) held their Regular Discussion Meeting on October 23, 2013 at Workpia Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. A total of 32 delegates from the Korean side attended, including FMKTU Chairman Kim Man Jae, Vice Chairman Jon Il Jin, and Secretary General Kim Seong Soo. From the Japanese side, a total of 42 delegates attended, comprised of the three top-ranking officials including President Nishihara along with delegates from affiliated industrial federations and individual unions. The two sides discussed the issues facing metalworkers in Japan and Korea, including minimum wages and various political, economic and social circumstances, through reports and a question-and-answer session.

 
  

45th Leadership Cource
October 7-19,2013,Kyoto

After intense studies in the Kyoto autumn, all 39 participants complete the course,
bringing the total number of graduates to 1,543.

 

Students are all smiles at the graduation ceremony after the two-week course

 The 45th JCM Labor Leadership Course was held at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto beginning on October 7, 2013. Although it is usually held in January, from this year onward it will be held in October. At the graduation ceremony on October 19, all 39 participants were awarded their certificates, this time from Principal Kozo Kagawa (Professor, Osaka Jogakuin University), who has taken over duties from Principal Satoshi Hirata.

 Over the 12 days of the course, students attended 13 classes based on 4 “pillars”. In the first pillar, Learning Your Historical Background (Vertical), classes included “Postwar Labor Movements and Transitions in Labor-Management Relations” and “International Labor Movements.” In the second pillar, Learning Where you Stand Now (Points), classes included “Labor Law,” “Labor-Management Relations,” “Labor Economics,” “Building Union Strategy,” “Statistics,” “Gender Equality and Diverse Styles of Work,” and “Introduction to Financial Analysis for Labor Unions.” In the third pillar, Learning the Expansion of the World Where You Live (Horizontal), classes included “International Economics” and “Organizations are People and People are Organizations.” In the fourth pillar, Learning the Basics for Living (In-Depth), classes included “Fantasy Groups” and “Mental Health in the Workplace.” In addition to the system of 13 classes, students also heard an opening lecture on “Future Labor Movements and Leader Images” (President Nishihara), a JCM lecture on “JCM Movement Issues,” and a special lecture on “Management and People” (Masahiko Aoki, Auditor, Nissan Motor), along with four-part seminars on five subjects led by instructors. Through all of these, participants held thorough discussions and looked for solutions to the issues faced by workplaces and labor unions, based on their common understanding of the manufacturing and metalworking industries and crossing the boundaries of their industry-based federations and individual unions. On the 18th, after giving individual reports at seminars in the morning, all students spent half a day giving seminar presentations and shared what they had learned with the entire group. 

 In between the classes, participants were able to further their exchange through cultural opportunities in Kyoto, such as experiencing a tea ceremony, Zen meditation, nighttime Noh theater by a fire, walks on Mount Kurama, and climbing Mount Hiei (optional).

 Ms. Keiko Haramura (Federation of All Toyota Workers’ Unions), the first female class president, cheerfully offers words of gratitude and determination at the end of the graduation ceremony.

 At the graduation ceremony, Principal Kagawa addressed the group, then handed certificates of completion to all 39 graduates. The students then heard words of farewell from JCM General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu and a Yamazaki Kansai Bloc member representing the local blocs, along with the seminar lecturers: Principal Kagawa, Assistant Principal Mitsuo Ishida, and Steering Committee members Yoshifumi Nakata, Yasunobu Tomita, and Masashi Ueda (Professors, Doshisha University).

 Finally, Ms. Keiko Haramura (Federation of All Toyota Workers’ Unions), serving as the class president, spoke on behalf of the students, saying that they would use what they learned in these courses in their future endeavors and promising that the 39 students would further strengthen the bonds of friendship they had forged during the course. The close of the 45th course brings the total number of graduates from the program to 1,543. The 46th Leadership Course is scheduled to begin in October 2014 at Kansai Seminar House. 

 
 

52nd JCM National Convention is Held

2014 Action Program is Deliberated and Decided

New Officers Selected ? 4 out of 14 Executive Committee Members are Women

The JCM held its 52nd National Convention on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. at TKP Shinagawa in Minato Ward, Tokyo. A total of 280 delegates (including 60 women), 25 officers, and 37 visitors attended from the five affiliated industrial federations. As for matters reported at the Convention, following a general progress report, Spring Offensive progress report, 2013 accounting report, and audit reports, the agenda covered five matters for deliberation and decision:

1. The 2014 Action Program

2. Revision of Terms and Regulations

3. Handling of general account surplus for 2013

4. 2014 accounting budget

5. Selection of officers  

 
 
 Policy Meetings with Government Ministries (June-July 2013)

Discussions with the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Cabinet Office

 Opinions exchanged on protecting manufacturing bases in Japan and challenges regarding labor and employment

 The JCM visited and held talks with the Ministry of Finance on June 18, the Bank of Japan on June 20, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on June 25, and the Cabinet Office on July 10. In this round of policy meetings, the JCM explained the current state of the metal industry, including the increase of domestic plant closures and job losses, and then stressed the importance of continuing the correcting trend in the yen’s rise, stability in currency exchange rates, achieving an energy and environmental policy that allows for both environmental protection and economic growth, and maintaining quality employment with long-term stability.

 

◆Policy meeting with Ministry of Finance

Tuesday, June 18, 2013  Ministry of Finance   Shinichi Sato, Deputy Vice Minister for Policy Planning and Co-ordination

As stated in the joint statement issued by the Government and the Bank of Japan on January 22, the Bank of Japan will work toward monetary easing with an inflation (price stability) target of 2 percent, and the government will work to flexibly manage macroeconomic policy, form a growth strategy and establish a sustainable fiscal structure.

  To achieve a favorable increase in prices, we must stimulate the economy and raise wages. We must achieve a virtuous cycle in which improved corporate earnings lead to higher wages, thus creating greater demand that moves markets. 

  With the government’s growth strategy, we must not only form new markets, but also change the practices of individual companies and industries. Government, workers and employees should talk with each other about improving productivity and other matters. All parties should work to ensure that if earnings rise, then wages will rise.

 Japan’s sound fiscal consolidation is a precondition for capital inflow from overseas.

 
 Policy meeting with Bank of Japan

Thursday, June 20, 2013  Bank of Japan   Shinichi Uchida, Director-General of Monetary Affairs Department
▼JCM delegation visiting the Bank of Japan
The BOJ issued a joint statement with the Government in January setting a 2 percent target for consumer price inflation. This statement details what will be done, and the BOJ intends to follow it closely.

Movements in financial markets cause changes in stock prices, which also impacts exchange rates and leads to reactions in interest rates. We wish to create an environment that makes management easier, so that companies can go to new frontiers. This will make the macro environment more conducive to wage increases.

To shore up the Japanese economy, more than just one portion of it needs to earn a profit. Throughout the adjustment process, there will be some inconsistency in which certain areas profit while others do not; however, 2 percent inflation will make adjustment easier. The price increase will also make it easier to provide wages appropriate for labor productivity.

 The bond purchasing by the BOJ was so huge that some hesitation occurred in the markets, in addition to higher interest rates overseas that caused a temporary rise in interest rates in Japan. Since then we have had a series of interactions with the markets, and we have achieved calm thanks to certain adjustments in the BOJ’s bond-buying operations. Now the sense of agitation is far behind us.

  We view the recent drop in stock prices as a phase of correction from their sudden increase. Some causes include selloffs at the end of the fiscal year for hedge funds and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s remarks on exiting quantitative easing. Stock prices in Japan are quite high compared to the beginning of the year. If Japan can break free from deflation and convince people that it will achieve a GDP growth of just under 3%, the stock prices will recover.

 Policy meeting with the Ministry of the Environment

Tuesday, June 25, 2013  Ministry of the Environment   Nobutoshi Miyoshi, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry's Secretariat (Global Environment Bureau)

The 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets will be subject to zero-base review as directed by the Prime Minister. If we continue offering a 25% target that we know is impossible, the international community will not understand us. Japan is taking a serious approach and we want this to be clearly reflected in our targets. 

 Also from an international view, it’s important to develop green industries. By expanding Japanese companies’ world-leading technologies overseas, we want to reduce carbon emissions in developing countries and use these reductions as “bilateral offset credits (JCM)” that count toward Japan’s targets.

 Japan as a whole still faces a power shortage, but what matters is not only reasonable prices for electricity, but also our efforts to control greenhouse gases. Coal-fired thermal power plants are increasing in use, but we will work to have older facilities replaced with newer ones, including more efficient thermal power plants.

 
 ◆Policy talks with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013  Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Mr.
Takeshi Kumagai Director-General for Policy Planning and Evaluation

Involuntary non-regular workers account for 20% of the total 3.48 million non-regular workers according to the Labour Force Survey. Rather than polarizing regular and non-regular workers, we will work toward life support and aid in making them regular workers.

 In regards to employment adjustment subsidies, while we do not intend to deny them, some companies continue to receive benefits despite the upturn in the economy, so we wish to return the system to one of ordinary times.

 We also want to study measures for maintaining employment in Germany, which has strengths in the European manufacturing industry. We are aware that we cannot simply focus on one style of work, and that we need to keep a broader perspective in our review.

 Employment and labor issues will be discussed in the Labor Policy Council. For now, discussions will begin with the Worker Dispatching Act and working hours. Employee dismissal regulations are legal precedents and it is the Ministry’s position that loosening them is legally impossible. There is also talk of monetary solutions, but we would like to discuss specific policy in the Labor Policy Council. We believe that having multiple discussions with workplaces is important.

 
 ◆Policy Meeting with the Cabinet Office

Wednesday, July 10, 2013  Cabinet Office, 
Masaaki Kawagoe, Director to the Director-General for Economic and Fiscal Management (Summary Charge) / Jun Takahashi, Director to the Director-General for Economic and Fiscal Management (Industry and Employment)

 The JCM visited the Cabinet Office on July 10 and discussed issues such as the continuation of the correcting trend in the yen rise, stability of exchange rates, and fiscal reconstruction. The comments from the Cabinet Office are summarized below.

The purpose of monetary easing is to end deflation. Weakening the yen is not our goal, but it is a necessary process for the recovery of Japan’s economy, so we will make efforts.

In the so-called "large-boned policy" (Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Structural Reform), we have set a target of cutting the deficit in half by 2015. However this alone will not be sufficient, and we will have to clarify the path toward fiscal reconstruction in the mid-term fiscal plan.

 

It would be nice if we could raise wages without any effort, but if some sort of plan is needed, dialogue between government, workers and employees would likely help to improve the overall environment. This would be one effective means if it creates the awareness that wage increases are important for mid- to long-term growth in Japan if the right results are achieved.
 
 Discussing the State of the Metal Industry, Organizing Workers, and Minimum Wages

6th Asian Metalworkers' Liaison Conference

April 22-23, 2013 in Singapore

The JCM held its sixth Asian Metalworkers’ Liaison Conference on April 22 and 23, 2013 at Downtown East in Singapore. This conference was held with the cooperation of the IMF-SC (IMF Singapore Council), who acted as host. A total of 61 delegates from 13 countries took part, representing metalworkers’ unions, the IndustriALL head office, and regional offices in the Asia-Pacific region. A total of 17 representatives from the JCM attended, including President Nishihara. In addition, to promote mutual understanding and cooperation in the activities of the three former global union federations, two representatives from UA Zensen attended as observers.
 
 

2013 Women’s Conference Report

Allowing Women to Continue Working Vibrantly in the Metal Industry

The JCM held its 2013 Women’s Conference on Saturday, April 13, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the JEIU Hall Conference Room in Minato Ward, Tokyo, with the theme of “Allowing Women to Continue Working Vibrantly in the Metal Industry.” A total of 48 female leaders from affiliated industrial federations and individual unions took part in this fourth Women’s Conference. Following a panel discussion on three advanced case studies on the topics of positive action in workplaces, work-life balance, and women’s participation in union activities, the participants were divided into eight groups to discuss these topics further.

 

2013 Policy Seminar: “Vision for the Future of Manufacturing in Japan”

 April 10, 2013  JEIU Hall, Tokyo

Held with the theme of “Vision for the Future of Manufacturing in Japan”


Masahiro Sakane (Industrial Competitiveness Council Member/Councilor and Senior Adviser, Komatsu Ltd.) delivers a presentation on “State of Deliberations on Future Growth Strategy”

 




The JCM held its 2013 Policy Seminar on April 10 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the JEIU Hall Conference Room in Tokyo. This seminar, held with the theme of “Vision for the Future of Manufacturing in Japan,” was attended by 120 delegates from industrial federations and individual unions. To begin, General Policy Committee Chairman Yukio Manaka (Vice President, JAM President) delivered remarks in which he spoke on the significance of this seminar: “The massive yen appreciation, which was the greatest obstacle to revival of the Japanese economy, is on a correcting trend; however, the grand design for maintaining and strengthening the Japanese manufacturing bases and ensuring the survival of domestic manufacturing has not yet been drawn. The government is working on a growth strategy with a mid-2013 goal in its Industrial Competitiveness Council. In addition to furthering our awareness of the state of these discussions, I hope this seminar will be useful in our efforts to grasp the state of recovery in manufacturing in the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster area, and of employment in manufacturing in the Kyushu region, which is competing with manufacturing in other Asian countries, in shaping the policy and program, industrial policy, and management strategy activities of the JCM and its industrial federations and individual unions.”

Then General Policy Bureau Deputy Director Shigetoshi Asai delivered a report from the Head Office on the topics of “Major Action Items in JCM Policy and Program Issues” and “2013 Policy and Program Issues of the JCM and Local Offices.” Next, two case study reports were presented from local offices. The first was from Tohoku Bloc representative Yoshio Kanno (JEIU Miyagi Council Representative) on the topic of “Restoring Manufacturing in Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster Areas.” The second was from the JCM Kyushu Bloc representative Koji Tai (JEIU Fukuoka Council Representative) on the topic of “State of Employment in Manufacturing in the Kyushu Region.” Then Masahiro Sakane, an Industrial Competitiveness Council member and a Councilor and Senior Advisor at Komatsu, Ltd., delivered a presentation on “State of Deliberations on Future Growth Strategy.” Finally JCM General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu gave a summary to close the seminar.

 
 Keidanren-JCM Meeting

April 4, 2013

 Views exchanged on “Challenges for New Growth in the Manufacturing Industry,” “Efforts toward Building Sound Labor-Management Relations Abroad”


儁eeting with Keidanren (at Keidanren Kaikan)

The JCM held a meeting with Keidanren on the morning of April 4, 2013 at Keidanren Kaikan in Otemachi, Tokyo. The meeting began with opening remarks from both organizations, from Keidanren Vice Chairman Koji Miyahara and JCM President Nishihara. Then each of the vice presidents commented on training and ensuring personnel to support workplace capabilities, ideas on labor regulations, proactive investment and training in growth areas, revitalization of SMEs and regional economies, energy, TPP, deflation, currency stability, and other issues facing the metal industry, and a vigorous exchange of opinions was held. In addition, the JCM introduce and shared awareness of its efforts toward building sound labor-management relations abroad.

 
  2013 Spring Labor Offensive Status Report



Every February, the JCM participates in the Spring Labor Offensive, where we submit requests to improve wage and working conditions to management, engage in collective bargaining, and elicit a series of responses in mid-March.


This year we elicited responses collectively on March 13. The following is a report of the results of measures taken by 55 labor unions of large companies affiliated with the JCM, including in the automotive, electrical machinery, and steel industries.

1.     All labor unions secured periodic pay raises as part of the wage structure.

(Periodic pay raises as part of the wage structure involves maintaining the wage system of increasing wages each year for individuals without falling below the previous year’s wage standards for each age group. In order to secure periodic pay raises, it is necessary to raise wages by about 2% per person.)  

2.     Regarding bonuses, we achieved a result of 4.77 months’ worth of bonus, an increase of 0.17 months over the previous year’s standard of 4.60 months.

3.     Regarding intra-company minimum wages, 11 labor unions secured raises of 500 yen.

4.     At the same time, we declared the following view in relation to moves to reform labor regulations that the government is pursuing.  

The government’s advisory body is examining changes to labor conditions that would disadvantage workers and reforms that would enable employers to retrench workers more easily. We the JCM are firmly opposed to these kinds of reforms. What the government should be doing now is curbing growth in the number of non-regular workers, who are subject to unstable employment and low income levels, improving the environment to achieve equal and balanced treatment with regular workers, and raising overall wages standards including for non-regular workers by raising the minimum wage.
 
 Reaching the Peak of the 2013 Spring Offensive: 34 major unions receive responses on JCM Unified Response Day

On March 13, 2013, the date of the 2013 Spring Offensive Unified Response Day, throngs of reporters from TV stations, newspapers, business magazines, and international media packed the offices of the JCM in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. From 10:30 a.m. responses came in for Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery and Manufacturing Workers (JAM), followed by Japanese Electrical Electronic and Information Union
(JEIU), Japan Federation of Basic Industry Workers' Unions (JBU), Japan Federation of Electric Wire Workers' Unions (JEWU), and Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions (JAW), and were listed one after another on the white board. From 11:00 a.m. the 6th Strategic Committee convened to go over the responses collected by the designated union for aggregating responses.
The Strategic Committee held its press conference at noon, and after General Secretary Wakamatsu announced the Points for Confirmation, President Nishihara made his comments on the responses. Next, the presidents and committee leaders of the five industrial federations offered their organizations’ views on the responses. Finally, questions were taken from the media organizations present, and the press conference was concluded after 1:00 p.m.
 
 JCM Policy Study Meeting (February 20, 2013)
Three top-ranking officials and political advisors attend Policy Study Meeting
to discuss creating and maintaining jobs and sound growth in the metal industry

The JCM held its Policy Study Meeting in Tokyo on the morning of February 20, 2013. The three top officers of the JCM and ten JCM political advisors from both houses of the Diet attended. After opening remarks by President Nishihara and Executive Political Advisor Akihiro Ohata, the presidents and general secretaries of the five industrial federations that comprise the JCM reported on current trends in the metal industry and policy challenges facing the organizations, and called for discussions and help in resolving issues in order to maintain and create jobs and ensure the sound growth of the metal industry. Opinions were also exchanged on recent political circumstances given the results of the lower house election held in December of last year. A summary of the meeting follows.

JCM President Nishihara’s Remarks (summary)
The foundation for opening the future prospects of companies lies in the self-supporting efforts of labor and management. However, it cannot be denied that policy issues such as the yen appreciation and deflation, the TPP and other free trade and economic partnerships, and environmental and energy policies are a hindrance on the sound growth of the metal industry and on maintaining and creating quality employment. Regardless of the political circumstances or government structure, the JCM will always call for realization of policy from the perspective of workers in the metal and manufacturing industries. Here again I ask all of our political advisors for your continued understanding and efforts to realize these policies.

Remarks by Executive Political Advisor Akihiro Ohata
There are two challenges facing the new administration of the Democratic Party of Japan. One is the issue of the split in the party that has resulted from distrust toward the DPJ. Regardless of the various debates over policy issues, I hope that the party will come to a consensus and then join together in spirit. The other challenge is the issue of clarifying the positions of the DPJ. In this regard, the party is working on its platform.
Reports from JCM industrial federations: “On Trends in the Metal Industry and Policy Issues”
Regarding industrial trends and policy issues for the JCM, the following is a summary of the reports from each federation.
•The automobile acquisition tax will be eliminated, but the ruling party is suggesting a transfer of resources from the vehicle tax. It is also suggesting keeping the vehicle weight tax and earmarking funds for road construction, so there is a sense of impending crisis.
• On the point of stopping the hollowing out of Japan’s industry, the recent correction in the yen’s appreciation has led to an increase in orders from overseas. We anticipate that the current yen level will be maintained.
• The Temporary Measures to Facilitate Financing for SMEs will expire at the end of March, leading to concerns about financing.
• Due to the long continuation of the excessive yen appreciation, orders have reached a critical situation. After 2015, when ships currently under construction will be handed over to their buyers, it is possible that manufacturers will reach a state in which they have no work whatsoever.
• As a result in the decline in domestic demand, some companies have made structural reforms. This has led to a harsh environment in terms of maintaining jobs.

Exchange of opinions

The political advisors offered the following views.
Listening to the comments from local regions, some have been harsher than imagined. The post-election backswing is not being felt, and in fact we sense that things may be getting worse. We need to have them hear the positions of the DPJ directly.
How we should conduct activities in these circumstances is a major point of concern. The DPJ is most likely the only party that can sympathize with the values of labor unions, and I hope we can lay the groundwork so that those on the front lines can do their work without shrinking back.


 
 2013 Minimum Wage Center Meeting (January 23, 2013)
Stressing the importance of specific (industry-based) minimum wages


The JCM held its 2013 Minimum Wage Center Meeting at the Aoyama Ivy Hall in Tokyo on January 23, 2013. A total of roughly 270 central and regional representatives on minimum wage issues from the five affiliated industrial federations took part. The meeting opened with an address from Vice President and Labor Policy Committee Chairman Shoji Arino, who told the group, “To achieve an increase in wages we should mobilize the power of trade unions and work toward a minimum wage.” From the secretariat, the programs and efforts of 2012 were summarized. Then Takashi Suda, Executive Director of the Department of Working Conditions at RENGO, gave a talk on recent trends and issues involving minimum wages, in which he described points of agreement in employment strategy talks, achieving consistency in standards and amounts of public assistance, and how to hold deliberations on special (industry-based) minimum wages. Next, General Secretary Wakamatsu reported on the “2013 Policy on Industry-based Minimum Wage Initiatives”. During the official discussions that followed, regarding the point that discussions were proceeding with difficulty in regions where the specified (industry-based) minimum wages and region-based minimum wages were approaching or inverted, views and requests were offered on the need for cooperative efforts by RENGO, the industrial federations, regions, and the JCM. Then responses and comments were offered by Mr. Suda and Mr. Wakamatsu as well as Central Minimum Wage Council board members Fumitaka Hagiwara and Tohru Kishino. It was confirmed that unions would work with stronger coordination and that the JCM would use a variety of venues to stress the need for specific (industry-based) minimum wages, after which the meeting was concluded.

 
 2013 Spring Offensive Meeting (January 22, 2013)

To ensure safe, stable work and protect the livelihoods of union members,
we will put full effort behind negotiations to achieve our demands
under the banner of the JC Joint Struggle

The JCM held its 2013 Spring Offensive Meeting on the afternoon of January 22, 2013 at the JEIU Hall Conference Room in Tokyo. Nearly 140 representatives from affiliated industrial federations and corporate and individual unions attended. 

To start the meeting, President Nishihara addressed the group. Among his remarks:
“With the awareness that the overall performance in each industry has been quite poor, and that our efforts will take place in an uncertain and unclear negotiating environment, we will demand ‘investment in people,’ which is essential for protecting and improving the personnel and workplace capabilities that support the continuation and strengthening of the domestic business foundation from the very bottom, and are the driving force for opening the future prospects of companies and industries. And we will demand that companies ensure safe and stable employment and provide fair allocations to workers. Maintaining the pay raise portion to protect union members’ livelihoods is one of the absolute missions of the JC Joint Struggle, and additionally supporting wage levels in order to break free from deflation is a social mission of the socially influential JCM on which we cannot compromise. We will put our full efforts behind negotiations to achieve these demands, in which workplaces have entrusted their earnest hopes and dreams, under the banner of the JC Joint Struggle.”

Then Professor Takahiro Fujimoto of the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Economics gave a presentation titled “Strengthening the Domestic Foundation of the Manufacturing Industry”. In this presentation, he stressed the importance of keeping a watch on the workplaces in the manufacturing industry. He also stressed that Japan can overcome the fluctuations in exchange rates and other adverse conditions by improving its productivity and its one-of-a-kind workplace capabilities. He also touched on the possibility of reviving production using the coordinating abilities that are characteristic of Japanese companies, and argued that the tide today is continuously changing and it is natural to view the current state as “pre-dawn”.

Next, JCM General Policy Bureau Deputy Director Shigetoshi Asai gave the official report titled "Opinions of the JCM Facing the 2013 Spring Offensive," which offered the views of the JCM toward the arguments from the management side in this year’s Spring Offensive, including: 1) breaking free from the era of low-wage competition; 2) correction of the strong yen and the economic environment, 3) domestic deindustrialization and Japan’s six competitive disadvantages; 4) international comparison of wages; 5) ensuring employment after age 60; and 6) work-life balance.

Finally, a panel discussion titled "Industrial Federation Initiatives for the 2013 Spring Offensive" was held. Coordinated by General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu, the panel was comprised of the presidents and general secretaries of the five industrial federations. After the panelists explained industry trends and gave an overview of their Spring Offensive policies, they introduced their special initiatives for the 2013 Spring Offensive. They pledged to further their mutual understanding as well as to band together to maintain and improve livelihoods and jobs, not just for JCM union members but for all workers.


 
 The 44th Leadership Course is completed
42 participants persevere through studies in the Kyoto winter



The 44th JCM Labor Leadership Course was held at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto beginning on January 15, 2013. Upon completion of the course on Saturday, January 26, the 42 participants received their certificates from Principal Satoshi Hirata. Over the 11 days, students attended 16 courses on subjects including labor union strategy, labor-management relations, international labor movements, labor law, international economics, introduction to financial analysis for labor unions, and mental health at workplaces, and special lectures on “Management and People” (by Daikin Industries Chairman of the Board and CEO Noriyuki Inoue), along with four 4-part seminars led by instructors, through which they held thorough discussions and looked for solutions to the issues faced by workplaces and labor unions, based on their common understanding of the manufacturing and metalworking industries and crossing the boundaries of their industry-based federations and individual unions. On January 25, all students gave seminar presentations and shared what they had learned. At the closing ceremony, Honorary Principal Eiji Hatta (President, Doshisha University), Principal Hirata, JCM General Secretary Wakamatsu, Assistant Principal Kagawa (who oversaw the seminars), and Professors Ishida, Tomita, and Ueda from Doshisha University offered parting words. Finally, Satoshi Kakinuma (Honda Motor Workers’ Union, Saitama Regional Branch), serving as the class president, spoke on behalf of the students, saying that they would use what they learned in these courses in their future endeavors and promising that the 42 students would further strengthen the bonds of friendship they had forged during the course. The close of the 44th course brings the total number of graduates from the program to 1,504. The 45th Leadership Course is scheduled to begin in October 2013 at Kansai Seminar House.

 

 2013 Spring Offensive and JC Joint Struggle
United Response Day set for Wednesday,March 13

Confirmed at 1st Strategic Committee Meeting on December 20

The JCM held its first Strategic Committee Meeting for the 2013 Spring Offensive on December 20, 2012. Upon confirming dates of “March 13-14 as the major peak” at the 1st RENGO Spring Offensive Joint Struggle Liaison Meeting with all delegates, it decided that the JC Joint Struggle Unified Response Day would be held on Wednesday, March 13.

 
 2013 Spring Offensive Policy Officially Set
by Organizations New union flag unveied

55th Central Committee Meeting held in Tokyo on December 7
The JCM held its 55th Central Committee Meeting on Friday, December 7, 2012 in Tokyo. President Nishihara started the meeting by addressing the group, asserting that he would put his utmost effort into seeing that all of the JCM-backed candidates win in the general election and offering his views and his resolve for the 2013 Spring Offensive. RENGO Assistant General Secretary Takao Yasunaga, attending as a guest, offered a message of solidarity. Then reports were presented, with Assistant General Secretary Masaru Endo giving a general progress report and General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu reporting on matters including “new logo following organizational abbreviation change,” including all prior developments. The new union flag with a new JCM logo was unveiled on the platform. General Secretary Wakamatsu offered proposals for the main theme, “The Way Forward for the 2013 Spring Offensive,” and the five industrial federations that comprise the JCM offered their opinions and requests from a standpoint of agreement with the proposal. After responses from the head office, the draft was adopted with unanimous applause.

→President Nishihara’s Address
→2013 Spring Offensive Policy (Summary of General Secretary Wakamatsu’s Proposal)
 
 Studying Worker Circumstances and Labor-Management Relations in Indonesia
11th JCM Seminar for Building Sound Labor-Management Relationships Overseas
The JCM held its 11th Seminar for Building Sound Labor-Management Relationships Overseas on November 30, 2012 from 1:30 at the Zenkoku Kaden Kaikan in Tokyo. A total of 166 delegates from labor and management in JCM-affiliated federations, individual unions and companies took part. This seminar focused on case studies from Indonesia. Participants worked to further understanding of the status of labor-management relations with a focus on minimum wages and temporary workers as well as large-scale demonstrations by trade unions in the face of the steady growth the country’s economy has enjoyed despite an accelerating economic slump throughout Asia. After an opening address from President Nishihara, Mr. Yoshihiro Kobi (former president of Indonesia MM2100 Industrial Town) delivered an address on the business environment in Indonesia. Then JCM International Affairs Bureau Director Shinya Iwai delivered a report from the Japan side on “recent case studies of overseas labor-management disputes and trends in overseas labor-management relations and international labor movements.” Later, a wide-reaching question-and-answer session and opinion exchange was held with JCM Assistant General Secretary Hideyuki Hirakawa as coordinator and Mr. Kobi and Mr. Iwai as panelists. Questions and opinions were taken from the floor. JCM General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu gave a summary to close the seminar.
 
 14th Nordic IN/JCM Metalworkers' Consultation
Views exchanged on deindustrization,maintaining jobs,
environment and energy policy

■Held November 5-6,2012 in Tokyo■

The 14th Nordic IN/JCM Metalworkers’ Consultation was held on November 5 and 6, 2012 in Tokyo. At the meeting, a total of eight delegates from metalworkers’ federations in four Scandinavian countries took part, including Arve Bakke, president of Nordic-IN (chairman of the Norway joint industry union). From the JCM, President Nishihara also attended, along with presidents, general secretaries and other delegates from affiliated industrial unions. On day one, participants heard reports from both the Japanese and Scandinavian delegations on the themes of “recent political, economic, and trade union circumstances in Japan and Scandinavia and women’s participation,” “the hollowing-out of industry and the preservation of employment,” and “participation in various IndustriALL activities,” after which a vigorous exchange of opinions was held. On day two, an information and opinion exchange was held on environment and energy policy. Following the meeting, on November 7 the Scandinavian delegation visited Sendai, one of the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, met with a representative of the RENGO Miyagi Coordinating Council for Metalworkers’ Unions, visited Tohoku Electrical Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and heard about labor-management efforts toward recovery from the disaster. Then on November 8 the delegation visited UA Zensen and ICEM-JAF, two IndustriALL affiliated organizations in Japan, and exchanged opinions with their officers.
 

JCM Delegates Take Part in the industriALL "STOP Precarious Work" Global Campaign
■RENGO and GUF organizations jointly sponsor a World Day for Decent Campaign■
The JCM, as part of the IndustriALL STOP Precarious Work global campaign, sent around 150 delegates to the World Day for Decent Work 2012 forum held jointly in Tokyo by RENGO and the Japanese GUF organizations on the afternoon of October 11, 2012.The delegation included President Nishihara and the JCM’s top three officers, the Executive Committee Members, secretaries, and delegates from its five affiliated industrial federations. Following the forum, participants went to three rail stations throughout Tokyo and held street rallies urging citizens to “stop precarious work and realize decent work.”

 
2013-14 Action Program determined
Reports from IndustriALL Founding Congress and Organizational Administration Examination Committee confirmed  

President Nishihara, General Secretary Wakamatsu and other new officers elected
Organizational abbreviation changed from IMF-JC to JCM


The JCM held its 51st National Convention on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at TKP GardenCity Shinagawa in Tokyo. A total of 338 persons attended, including 278 delegates, 22 officers, and 38 visitors. At the Convention, the 2013-14 Action Program was determined, officers were reelected with President Koichiro Nishihara and General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu forming the core of the new 2013-14 organizational structure, and appointments for advisors and political advisors were confirmed. In addition to RENGO General Secretary Hiroyuki Nagumo, the conference was joined by a total of 31 representatives from 22 organizations in 16 countries and regions, including representatives from two IndustriALL affiliates in Japan as well as General Secretary Jyrki Raina and Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL’s Director of ICT, Electrical and Electronics, Shipbuilding and Shipbreaking. General Secretary Raina gave a congratulatory address to the gathering on behalf of the guests. Some amendments were made to the rules and regulations, and the English abbreviation of the organization’s name was changed from IMF-JC to JCM. 

>Read More
JCM 2013-14 Aciton Program
JCM 2013-14 Elected Officialsogram
 
 Opinions exchanged on protecting manufacturing in Japan and other issues of domestic employment
Demands for addressing the yen rise and deflation, promoting the TPP and other FTAs
The JCM holds policy meetings with government officials in July 2012

On July 27 and 31, the JCM visited the Bank of Japan, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Cabinet Office
to assert that domestic employment in the metal industry is in a crisis state and to exchange views. During the talks, JCM General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu explained that domestic manufacturing companies and domestic employment were in a crisis due to the massive yen appreciation and other reasons; that an exchange rate of at least 90 yen to the dollar was necessary to protect domestic manufacturing companies; and that plant closures in Japan were becoming a reality. And we asked for support from each office on measures to address the yen rise and deflation; on promotion of signing the TPP and other FTAs; and of ensuring a stable and low-priced supply of energy, among other matters.
 
 Studying the Mexico labor situation and labor-management relations
10th JCM Seminar for Preventing Overseas Labor-Management Disputes
held
on July 6, 2012

The JCM held its 10th Seminar for Preventing Overseas Labor-Management Disputes on July 6, 2012, from 1:30 p.m. at the Arcadia Ichigaya (Shigaku Kaikan) in Ichigaya, Tokyo. A total of 120 delegates from labor and management in JCM industry-based, individual and corporate unions took part. At this seminar, Professor Keiko Hata of the Waseda University School of Social Sciences spoke on the labor situation and labor-management relations in Mexico, where a number of Japanese companies have started to set up business. In addition, Kan Matsuzaki, IndustriALL Global Union Director of ICT, Electrical and Electronics, Shipbuilding and Shipbreaking, offered a presentation on the basic policies of IndustriALL, including promotion of a multinational corporation trade union network and international campaigns for when labor-management disputes arise. Finally, the two presenters served as panelists on a panel discussion coordinated by Assistant General Secretary Masahiro Nogi to delve deeper in to their talks.
 
 2012 Spring Offensive Agencies to be Dissolved
2862 unions across JC submitted demands; 2686 unions received responses
June
27, 2012, 10th Strategic Committee

The JCM held its 10th Strategic Committee Meeting on Wednesday, June 27 at which it summarized the responses that had been received thus far. Participants decided to work toward swift resolution in future Offensives under the guidance of industry-based unions, and confirmed that the 2012 Spring Offensive agencies would be dissolved at the 7th Central Spring Offensive Committee Meeting to be held on the same day.  
At the 7th Central Spring Offensive Committee Meeting held on that afternoon (photos), discussions were held on the evaluation and issues of the Spring Offensive, and the dissolution of the Spring Offensive agencies was confirmed.
At the 23rd Executive Committee Meeting, held prior to the Central Spring Offensive Committee meetings, President Nishihara started by reporting the passing on June 22 of Yoshiji Miyata, an advisor and the second IMF-JC president who served for 11 years, as well as the creator of the foundation of the JC movement. A moment of silence was held in observance of his legacy.
 
 IndustriALL Founding Congress
is ConcludedThe new history of IndustriALL begins

For the IndustriALL Global Union Founding Congress, which began on June 19, 2012, all proceedings, from resolutions addressing precarious work to the Action Plan, regulations, and other matters for deliberation and decision, were completed on the 20th. Thus a new 50-million-strong global union federation has been formed, and the new history of IndustriALL has begun. The JCM, which has played a central role as the representative organization of the Asia-Pacific region, sent a delegation that contributed to the success of the Congress.
 
 The IndustriALL Founding Congress Begins
June 19, 2012 in Copenhagen
The Founding Congress of the international industrial union federation IndustriALL, which is comprised of 50 million members in 140 countries, began on June 19, 2012 in Copenhagen. At the Congress, a video message from Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihiko Noda was aired, and with the election of JCM President Nishihara as an executive committee member, the role of the JCM and Japan as the leader of the Asia-Pacific region has taken on greater importance. On the first day, the president, vice-presidents, general secretary, and assistant general secretaries were elected. IMF President Berthold Huber was elected president, while IMF General Secretary Jyrki Raina was chosen as general secretary. Mr. Raina gave an outline of the action plan. Pictured are the new leaders and the JCM delegation.
 
Three Global Union Federation Asia-Pacific Regional Conference
On the evening of June 18, 2012 in Copenhagen
 On June 18, following the respective congresses of the IMF, ICEM, and ITGLWF, a three-Global Union Federation Asia-Pacific Regional Conference was held. The agenda included confirmation of IndustriALL executive committee candidates from the Asia-Pacific region, election of the Asia regional chairperson, election of Asia regional representative committee members, and future Asia region initiatives. Discussions resulted in confirmation of the Asia-Pacific region's executive committee candidates and the election of JCM President Nishihara as the Asia regional chairperson and Asia regional representative committee member.
 
IMF Dissolved for the Foundation of IndustriALL
Determined at IMF Congress
On the morning of June 18, 2012 in Copenhagen

 On the morning of June 18, the IMF held its Congress in Copenhagen. The 800 metal union delegates, including representatives of the JCM, officially decided through majority vote to dissolve the IMF, join forces with mining and energy workers, and create the new 50-million-strong IndustriALL Global Union. Pictured is the JCM delegation approving the formation of IndustriALL.
 
 March 14: IMF-JC Unified Response Day
 On March 14, 2012, amid continuing economic turmoil and difficulties in the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, the IMF-JC held its Unified Response Day. Press corps from the mass media gathered from morning at the IMF-JC head office in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, near the Coredo Building. Responses began coming in just after 10:00 a.m., and camera flashes lit the room each time the officers wrote on the white board.

Afternoon Press Conference IMF-JC President Koichiro Nishihara
 At its 6th Strategic Committee Meeting, which began at 11:00 a.m., the IMF-JC confirmed the responses it had received thus far and the way forward for the JC Joint Struggle in small and medium-sized unions. After hearing these remarks, the three top-ranking officials of the IMF-JC held a press conference from noon, which was attended by press corps that totaled 110. The press conference opened with General Secretary Hideyuki Wakamatsu's presentation of the Points for Confirmation in the 6th Strategic Committee Meeting. Then IMF-JC President Koichiro Nishihara offered his overall comments. Next, the presidents of the five industrial federations gave comments in reaction to today's responses, and then a question-and-answer session was held.the Points for Confirmation
 
 
Basic Positions Confirmed for Final Stage of 2012 Spring Offensive
Of the 2139 IMF-JC unions submitting demands, 924 are asking for higher wages
4th Strategic Committee for the 2012 Spring Offensive is held on the morning of March 9, 2012

 The IMF-JC  held its 4th Strategic Committee Meeting for the 2012 Spring Offensive in the morning of Friday, March 9, 2012. Along with a better understanding of the state of negotiations for each industry-based union, the following five basic positions were confirmed for the final stages of negotiations for next week's Unified Response Day on the 14th.

The regular pay raise amount will be ensured for each union.
○The entire IMF-JC will support the 924 unions working toward wage increases and revisions so that pay raises will be achieved.
Bonuses will be secured as requested to ensure continued stability and peace of mind for workers' livelihoods.
For intra-company minimum wage agreements, responses that meet our requests will be received.
For assurance of employment after age 60, we will demand fulfillment of social responsibility considering the “2013 problem”.

 
 
 

Demands Presented to DPJ Acting President Sengoku Demanding Action on the Yen Rise
■March 8, 2012■

 On Thursday, March 8, 2012, the IMF-JC submitted its demands for stronger countermeasures to address the appreciation of the yen and combat deflation to Democratic Party of Japan Acting President Yoshito Sengoku. Mr. Sengoku said that he understands that domestic jobs have been lost due to the transfer of business overseas in the manufacturing industry, and showed his awareness that new paths for employment must be created within Japan. In response, IMF-JC General Secretary Wakamatsu asserted that the yen rise has forced many small and mid-sized parts and materials manufacturers that support Japan's manufacturing industry to move overseas, accelerating the hollowing-out of the industry, and that this trend is hurting not only export industries but also Japan's economy as a whole. [Photo: DPJ Acting President Yoshito Sengoku (right) accepts written demands to address the yen rise from IMF-JC General Secretary Wakamatsu]

 
  Demanding further measures to address the yen rise and deflation
Informal Talk with the DPJ's “Special Team on Countermeasures toward the Yen Appreciation and Deflation” chairman Naoshima held on March 2, 2012

On Friday, March 2, 2012, the IMF-JC visited Diet member Masayuki Naoshima, chairman of the Democratic Party of Japan's “Special Team on Countermeasures toward the Yen Appreciation and Deflation” and advisor to the IMF-JC, to discuss efforts to tackle the yen rise and deflation.
General Secretary Wakamatsu spoke on the state of employment and the crisis in the metal industry and asserted the need for further monetary easing and accelerated enforcement, referring to the IMF-JC Views that were compiled on February 27. In response, Mr. Naoshima said that the DPJ had considered these matters thoroughly and had exchanged opinions with the Bank of Japan numerous times since the end of last year, which resulted in the monetary easing that took place on February 14. He also said that within the DPJ, Policy Research Committee Chairman Seiji Maehara had taken a proactive stance toward correcting the yen's rise, and that the BOJ 1% inflation target would have to be raised because the 1% target would not stop the decline of the GDP deflator. [Photo: Chairman Naoshima (left) hears IMF-JC demands in a talk with General Secretary Wakamatsu (2nd from left).]
 
  New Organization to be Named “IndustriALL”; Founding Congress Slated for June in Copenhagen
IMF and 3 GUF Executive Committees to Meet February 28-29, 2012

On February 28-29, 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland, the IMF and 3 GUFs held a joint executive committee meeting. President Nishihara and Assistant General Secretary Nogi were also in attendance.
Candidates for the leadership of the new GUF, including Berthold Huber for President, R. Thomas Buffanberger for Vice President, Jyrki Raina for General Secretary, and Fernando Lopes for Assistant General Secretary were nominated, as confirmed by the executive committee and reported to the joint executive committee. The 3 GUF joint executive committee offered final proposals on the new organizations name and logo, selecting IndustriALL, to be proposed at the Congress in June.
Photo: 3 GUF Joint Executive Committee (February 29, 2012, Geneva)
 
  Demanding further measures to address the yen rise and deflation
At the Yen Appreciation & European Debt Crisis Response Study Group (Diet Members’ Federation) on February 29, 2012

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, IMF-JC General Secretary Wakamatsu visited lower House member Takeshi Miyazaki of the Yen Appreciation & European Debt Crisis Response Study Group (Diet MembersFederation) and delivered theIMF-JC Views Calling for Further Action on the Yen Rise and Deflation,” which were confirmed by the IMF-JC on February 27. He asked for prompt and effective enactment and further enhancement of the monetary easing announced on February 14.
The Diet MembersFederation Yen Appreciation & European Debt Crisis Response Study Group compiled its proposals for addressing the yen’s rise and deflation on March 1 and submitted them to DPJ Policy Research Committee Chairman Seiji Maehara.
Photo: Lower House member Takeshi Miyazaki (right) receives the IMF-JCs views from General Secretary Wakamatsu
 
The IMF-JCs Views on Addressing the Yen Rise
Demanding further action on the yen rise and deflation
Presented on February 27, 2012

On February 27, the IMF-JC issued itsViews Calling for Further Action on the Yen Rise and Deflation. The document, signed by the President and Vice Presidents, included the demands for addressing the yen rise made to government advisors at its Policy Study Meeting on February 22.  <<Read the IMF-JC Views>>   
Photo: Views calling for further action are presented to the Yen Appreciation & European Debt Crisis Response Study Group (February 29)
 

Opinions Exchanged with Political Advisors for Addressing the Yen Rise

The continuing yen rise is severely affecting the metal industry
IMF-JC holds a Policy Study Meeting on February 22

 On the morning of Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the IMF-JC held a Policy Study Meeting in Tokyo. This committee meeting is held as a forum for information exchange primarily among the IMF-JC’s three top ranking officials and its political advisors on the major policy issues it faces. At this meeting, the central focus was the yen appreciation that is affecting the metal industry. After a report on the effects of the yen rise on each sector in the metal industry, opinions were exchanged among participants, with the IMF-JC demanding continued efforts to address the yen rise. President Nishihara, who delivered the introductory remarks, said, “The ongoing historic yen appreciation is exerting a major effect on our metal and manufacturing industries, bringing about the dangers of a hollowing out of the industries and a loss of domestic employment. We at the IMF-JC have asked the government and the Bank of Japan to first share the awareness of this crisis and to show a fighting stance toward the current yen rise. Over time we have repeatedly called for flexible measures to address the crisis, with an effective combination of currency exchange intervention and monetary easing. Today I was informed that a Special Team to address the yen rise and deflation was set up by the Democratic Party of Japan. Through this special team I would like the DPJ to be aware just how severe the blow from the yen rise has been to companies in the metal industry in Japan, and I will be reporting on the situations in individual sectors of the metal industry today, so based on this information I call for continued efforts to effectively address the yen rise.”
 
 
 2012 IMF-JC Spring Offensive
Of the 60 designated unions for aggregating responses, 54 make demands on wages
The IMF-JC holds its 3rd Strategic Committee Meeting on February 22


 On February 22, the IMF-JC held its 3rd Strategic Committee Meeting at its Tokyo offices. It gained an understanding of the state of negotiations primarily among the designated unions for aggregating responses and confirmed the basic stance for the oncoming negotiations. As of February 22, 54 of the 60 aggregating unions have presented demands on wages.
 
 Lively discussions on energy policy, the new GUF and other topics
The 12th Regular Meeting of Japan-Germany Metalworkers Unions is held in Tokyo

 On February 1 and 2, the IMF-JC held the 12th Regular Meeting of Japan-Germany Metalworkers Unions in Tokyo. Five officials from German metalworkers unions, including the Industrial Union of Metalworkers (IG Metall) president Berthold Huber, joined 9 IMF-JC members, including President Nishihara and vice presidents, general secretary and assistant general secretaries, on the first day, while the second day was primarily attended by board members of the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions.
The first day featured a candid exchange of opinions and extended discussions on three topics: the two countriespolitical, economic and labor situations, energy policy, and the formation of the new GUF. (Global Union Federation). On the second day, a lively exchange of opinions was held on the circumstances, policies and problems of both countriesauto industries with the theme ofhollowing-out of labor markets and maintaining jobs.

 
 
 Tremendous Results from 39 Participants
The 43rd Leadership Course is completed

The 43rd IMF-JC Labor Leadership Course was held at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto beginning on January 11, 2012. Upon completion of the course on January 28, the 39 participants received their certificates from principal Satoshi Hirata. Over the 16 days, students attended 21 courses and special lectures along with 5 seminars divided into four parts taught by instructors. Through this work they held thorough discussions and looked for solutions on the issues faced by businesses and labor unions, based on their common understanding of the manufacturing and metalworking industries. On the 27th, all students gave seminar presentations and shared what they had learned. The close of the 43rd course brings the total number of graduates to 1,462.
 
   Reaffirming the Importance of Industry-based Minimum Wage Initiatives     2012 Minimum Wage Center Meeting is held
On January 25, 2012, the IMF-JC held its 2012 Minimum Wage Center Meeting at Workpia Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture. A total of 270 central and regional representatives on minimum wage issues from the five affiliated industrial federations took part. At the meeting, the programs and efforts of 2011 were summarized, and the2012 Policy on Industry-based Minimum Wage Initiatives,confirmed at the January 23 Executive Committee meeting, were presented. To begin, following remarks from Vice President and Labor Policy Committee Chairman Shoji Arino, IMF-JC General Policy Bureau Director Michiyo Suwa reported on the progress of the 2011 initiatives. Then Takashi Suda, Executive Director of the Department of Working Conditions at RENGO, gave a talk on trends and issues involving minimum wages. Next, IMF-JC Assistant General Secretary Masahiro Inoue reported on the2012 Policy on Industry-based Minimum Wage Initiatives.During the official discussions, various opinions and requests were offered by the regional minimum wage representatives, then responses and comments were offered by Mr. Suda and Mr. Inoue as well as Central Minimum Wage Council board members Fumitaka Hagiwara and Tohru Kishino.
 
 Stopping the Hollowing-out of Japan’s Industry;
Negotiating for a Better Future for Japan
2012 Spring Offensive Meeting is Held

 
The IMF-JC held its 2012 Spring Offensive Meeting on January 24. Nearly 160 representatives on wage issues from affiliated industrial federations and corporate and individual unions attended. The meeting began with greetings from President Nishihara, who told the group, "This year’s environment for negotiations will be even harsher than last years, but we have made tremendous efforts and claimed this critical time for our own. With a strong desire to stop the hollowing-out of the metal industry and secure a better future for Japan, we must ensure that labor and management share a full awareness of the crisis. Only by placing the greatest focus on the people who support companies and industry can we overcome the current situation. The prioritization of investment in people is what will decide the fate of industry.
 
 Investment in People to Empower Workplaces
The IMF-JC gives its views on Nippon Keidanren's “Report of the Committee on Management and Labor Policy”
 
Nippon Keidanren announced its “Report of the Committee on Management and Labor Policy” on January 24, which clarified the position management will take in upcoming labor-management negotiations. In response, the IMF-JC promptly presented its views on the same day. The 2012 Spring Offensive will play a tremendous role in breaking free from deflation and putting the Japanese economy back on a growth trajectory. With the presumption of maintaining and securing jobs, we will continue to call for the appropriate investment in people, including basic support for wages and working conditions and improvements in wages.
 
 Conforming the Way Forward for the 2012 Spring Offensive
2nd Strategic Committee Meeting and 2nd Central Spring Offensive Committee Meeting held on January 23

In the morning of January 23, the IMF-JC held its 2nd Strategic Committee to confirm the way forward for the 2011 Spring Offensive. The five affiliated industrial federations are currently holding their central committee meetings and formulating their Spring Offensive policies by industry. Once demands are set in individual unions, demands will be presented starting mainly from the designated union for aggregating responses by Wednesday, February 22, after which each union will promptly begin negotiations. Also, on January 24 the IMF-JC presented its views on the “Report of the Committee on Management and Labor Policy” which is set to be presented by Nippon Keidaren on that day. The IMF-JC, in coordination with the RENGO Joint Struggle liaison Meeting, has set the main schedule in preparation for the Unified Response Day on March 14 and confirmed that it will pull together its combined strengths to pursue this year's Offensive. On the afternoon of the 23rd, the 2nd Central Spring Offensive Committee meeting was held, with discussions on the specifics for the Offensive.
 
    
 43rd Labor Leadership Course Begins    
Training 39 Elite Labor Leaders for the New Era
From January 11, 2012 at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto

 The 43rd Labor Leadership Course, a traditional gateway to success for union leaders sponsored by the IMF-JC, began on January 11, 2012 at the Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto. For this course, 39 elites from IMF-JC affiliated unions, including three from fellow organizations, came from as far north as Niigata and as far south as Yamaguchi. The students will lodge at the Kansai Seminar House in the lush nature of the Rakuhoku area of Kyoto until January 28 as they engage in extensive discussions in five seminars on issues faced by workplaces and unions under the guidance of instructors, and attend 20 courses organized in a structure based on four core principles.
 

 IMF-JC 50th National Convention (Yokohama)

IMF-JC 50th National Convention
Action Program Discussed and Determined
Held in Yokohama on September 6

The IMF-JC held its 50th National Convention on September 6, 2011, in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. A total of 274 delegates (including 11 proxies), 23 officers, and 24 visitors attended. At the Convention, the 2012 Action Program, a reinforcement of the 2011-12 Action Program, was discussed and ratified without alteration. In addition, the 2012 budget and other matters were debated and decided. Also, in response to the change in leadership at JAM, the reelection of some top officials was confirmed. Following the meeting, to mark the occasion of the 50th Convention, Ryozo Yoshikawa, Project Researcher at the University of Tokyo Manufacturing Management Research Center (and former director at Korean firm Samsung), was invited to deliver a special presentation on the topic of “Crisis Management: How Domestic Manufacturing Can Survive.
IMF-JC President's Adress,Koichiro Nishihara
Rengo President's AdressNobuaki ,Koga
IMF Guest 's Adress,Kan Matsuzaki
IMF-JC 2012 Aciton Program

IMF-JC 2011 Women’s Conference
A vigorous exchange of ideas on issues including women’s participation in labor movements
47 participants from affiliated industry-based and individual unions

The IMF-JC held its 2011 Women’s Conference, its second such event, on July 2, 2011 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the JEIU Hall Conference Room in Ichinohashi, Minato Ward, Tokyo. A total of 47 women union members from affiliated industry-based, corporate and individual unions took part. With the common theme of “Allowing Women to Continue Working Vibrantly in the Metal Industry,” case study presentations were given on the topics of (1) women’s participation in union activities, (2) positive action in workplaces, and (3) work-life balance. The participants were divided into seven groups to consider these topics further through intense group work.

 

8th Seminar for Preventing Overseas Labor-Management Disputes
Discussions held on labor situation in India and establishing trade union networks in TNCs
154 participants from metalworkers' labor and management

The IMF-JC held its 8th Seminar for Preventing Overseas Labor-Management Disputes on July 1, 2011, from 1:30 p.m. at the JEIU Hall in Ichinohashi, Tokyo. A total of 154 delegates from labor and management in IMF-JC affiliated industry-based and individual unions and companies took part. At this seminar, we heard a presentation from Kokushikan University Professor Takashi Umezawa on the current labor situation and labor-management relations in India, which is the subject of much attention as an emerging market. IMF-JC Assistant General Secretary Masahiro Nogi also reported on the current status and issues regarding the construction of trade union networks in TNCs, on which the IMF-JC is currently working to prevent overseas labor-management disputes. Later, we heard case study presentations from the Omron Trade Union and the Federation of All Nissan and General Workers' Unions regarding efforts to build union networks in TNCs.



4th Asian Metalworkers’ Liaison Conference
3 GUF unification and other pressing issues discussed among regional delegates
■44 participants from 18 organizations in 14 countries meet in Seoul■

The IMF-JC held its fourth Asian Metalworkers’ Liaison Conference on June 23 and 24, 2011 in Seoul, South Korea. At this conference, held with the cooperation of two Korean IMF-affiliated organizations (FKMTU and KMWU), a total of 44 delegates took part, representing 18 IMF organizations from 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. IMF-JC delegates included President Nishihara and 14 representatives from affiliated industry-based unions. IMF Assistant General Secretary Fernando Lopez also joined from the head office. During the discussions, IMF-JC President Nishihara delivered a keynote presentation on our most pressing issue today, the 3 GUF unification, from the IMF Executive Committee’s standpoint. He gave a clear explanation of the overall picture regarding the 3 GUF unification, including the debate process until this point and the future direction of the merger. A comprehensive discussion was held in order to share awareness of the issues for the Asia-Pacific Region as we approach the IMF Central Committee Meeting in Jakarta this coming December, at which the unification will be confirmed. On the morning of the second day, following case study presentations from the IMF-JC and the JAW on establishing trade union networks in TNCs, a comprehensive discussion was held. Later that afternoon, through a panel discussion on the topic of organizing workers, delegates exchanged information, relayed experiences and shared awareness of the issues being tackled in the Asia-Pacific region.

2nd Labor-Management Workshop for Building Sound Labor-Management Relationships
Reconfirming the importance of labor-management communication
■117 participants from Japanese companies in Bekasi, Indonesia■

The 2nd Labor-Management Workshop for Building Sound Labor-Management Relationships sponsored by the IMF-JC was held on June 1, 2011 in Bekasi, Indonesia. Continuing the themes of the conference held in June of last year, this second workshop, held with the purpose of building sound labor-management relationships in Japanese companies in Indonesia, was attended by 117 participants, mostly from labor and management of local Japanese companies. Discussions were held with a focus on topics including sympathy strikes and the importance of the role of Indonesian personnel management officers. Participants also shared recognition of the importance of labor-management communication.


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