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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 15 - 21  > Workers at Japan’s major manufacturing companies work 2,000 hours a year
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2017 February 15 - 21 [LABOR]

Workers at Japan’s major manufacturing companies work 2,000 hours a year

February 15, 2017
Workers in major manufacturers, including automakers, electronics companies, and shipbuilders, are working 2,000 hours in a year. This was shown in the results of a union survey.

The Japan Council of Metalworkers’ Unions (JCM) which is affiliated with the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) has released a work-time survey of its member unions at major manufacturing companies. The survey results indicated that in 2015, the annual total actual working hours of workers in many large companies exceeded 1,900 hours. It also found that in some companies, workers worked more than 2,000 hours a year.

In major electronics companies such as NEC, Fujitsu, and Toshiba, workers worked 2,023.6 hours a year on average. In automakers like Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan, the average annual working hours of employees increased to 2,119 hours, up six hours from the previous year.

One of major reasons for Japan’s long working hours is Article 36 of the Labor Standards Act which allows for overtime on the condition that a ceiling on overtime is set in labor-management talks. Using this provision, many large corporations have agreements with labor unions to impose on workers more than 80 hours of overtime a month, the officially designated danger line for death from overwork.

Past related articles:
> Keidanren exec firms force workers to work overtime exceeding danger line of death from overwork [February 4, 2017]
> Japan’s major companies impose on workers more than 80 hours of overtime every month [January 4, 2014]
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