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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 12 - 18  > Nationwide action for minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen takes place
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2017 April 12 - 18 [LABOR]

Nationwide action for minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen takes place

April 16, 2017
Shouts of “Increase the minimum hourly wage to 1,500 yen!” echoed throughout Japan on April 15.

On this day, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) together with a youth group fighting for a minimum wage hike, AEQUITAS, and independent unions conducted a nationwide action demanding that the minimum hourly wage be immediately increased to 1,500 yen and that a nationwide, across-the-board minimum wage system be established.

In Tokyo’s major shopping district of Shinjuku, 1,500 people, including AEQUITAS members, union workers, and supportive lawyers, marched through a busy downtown street. In rhythm to the music from the leading pickup truck, the participants in chorus shouted, “Lift the minimum wage to 1,500 yen an hour!” “Create a uniform, national minimum wage system!”

Prior to the march, Zenroren held a street rally near Shinjuku Station with 200 people participating. Union members called for the need for higher minimum wages with the use of a microphone, seeking public support for their demand.

A member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Youth Union said, “Tokyo’s minimum hourly wage (932 yen) ranks first among 47 prefectures. This hourly wage level, however, is not enough for workers to earn a living wage without working two or more jobs.”

A nursing-care worker who is a member of the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) said, “The average monthly income of full-time, regular nursing-care workers is 100,000 yen lower than that of other workers. Hourly wages for non-regular nursing-care workers are at the same low level as regional minimum wages. Regardless of regular and non-regular, nursing-care workers need higher wages.”

A childcare worker of the National Union of Welfare and Childcare Workers (Fukushi-Hoikuro) called for establishing so-called “equal job, equal pay” rules for childcare workers.

In Nagoya City, a demonstration for a higher minimum wage also took place.

At a rally held before the demonstration, an AEQUITAS member emphasized the need for a 1,500 yen minimum wage amid the growing rate of poverty and said, “Let’s fight for better minimum wages in concert with global movements working to achieve living wages.”

A male university student watching the demonstration said, “I receive a loan-type ‘scholarship’. If the minimum wage is increased to 1,500 yen per hour, I would not have to work multiple part-time jobs to cover living costs,” and expressed his hope for an increase in the minimum wage.

Past related articles:
> Young Japanese workers join in global day of action for minimum wage hike [April 16, 2016]
> Youth stand up demanding minimum wage hike [January 13, 2016]

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