Zenroren adopts general plan for 2007 Spring Struggle
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held its General Council meeting from January 25-26 in Tokyo, attended by representatives of the affiliated industrial and prefectural federations.
The meeting unanimously approved the “General Plan for the 2007 People’s Spring Struggle.”
It approved the new membership of the National Federation of Financial Industry Trade Unions, which organizes local bank and credit union employees.
Zenroren Secretary General ODAGAWA Yoshikazu explained the general plan for the 2007 People’s Spring Struggle and its main slogan: “Defend the Constitution and peace; eradicate social disparities and poverty; and make our society secure and safe”.
The plan calls for the following main tasks:
(1) Improve or establish regulatory measures for the places of work;
(2) Stop the further widening of the social disparities and the increase in the poverty rate
(3) Raise wages including the minimum wage;
(4) Redress regional disparities and stop the cutbacks on public services;
(5) Increase labor cooperation in opposition to the adverse revision of the Constitution;
(6) Further efforts to achieve progressive change in politics.
It also demands that every worker get at least a 10,000 yen increase in monthly salaries or at least a 100 yen raise in hourly wages. This demand is important for ensuring that every worker can earn more than 150,000 yen a month, more than 7,400 yen a day, or more than 1,000 yen an hour.
The meeting also adopted two additional documents, one that outlines the basic approaches to the upcoming nationwide local elections and the House of Councilors election, and the other a document that details how Zenroren will organize the effort to increase its membership during the Spring Struggle.
The General Council also adopted an appeal calling on the Japanese workers to participate in the 2007 People’s Spring Struggle.
In the discussion at the Zenroren General Council meeting, 32 delegates spoke.
A delegate from the Construction, Transport and General Workers’ Union (Kenkouro) said: “(In the trucking industry,) shippers are destroying fair pricing and forcing workers to work at extremely low wages. We will take our vehicles to a demonstration that will be bigger than the one we had last year.’
A delegate from the Kyoto General Council of Trade Unions said, “We will put full energy to the struggle stop the adverse revisions of labor laws and get effective part-time workers law enacted, and to have the minimum wage law revised. We are campaigning to collect one million signatures in support of these demands. On February 22, we will have a day of action with 3,000 people taking part.
A delegate from Hokkaido, northern Japan, said, “We will focus on the rebuilding of the city of Yubari (former coal mine town which recently has been declared insolvent) by making clear as much as possible the government responsibility for the problem.”
Delegates from Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Iwate prefectures expressed determination to make every effort in the nationwide local elections, in particular their gubernatorial elections.
Zenroren president’s speech
In his speech at the General Council meeting, Zenroren President BANNAI Mitsuo stated:
“The 2007 Spring Struggle is a good opportunity to take the offensive on those attacking workers. It is important to recognize that we have created the present conditions for ourselves. We have made it difficult for the government to submit a “white-collar exemption” bill in the current session of the Diet. Public opinion demanding a revision to the minimum wage law and equal treatment of part-time workers and full-time workers has been growing.
Our struggle for higher wages should be directed to an across-the-board raise for all workers as part of the effort to increase personal consumption.
The Liberal Democratic Party is intent on having the Diet enact the law to establish procedures to revise the Constitution. We will do all we can to establish a common front of all trade unions that are opposed to the adverse constitutional revision. In doing this, we can make use of our experience in achieving an advance common action that involved unions regardless of national affiliation in many regions and localities.
Let us do our utmost to increase our membership in the Spring Struggle. We are called upon to make a real effort in this area. Let us wage a vibrant Spring Struggle and make Zenroren’s presence known more widely in society.”
National Federation of Financial Industry Trade Unions joins Zenroren
The General Council unanimously approved the membership of the National Federation of Financial Industry Trade Unions,
Vice President IZUMI Yasuhiro in his speech said: “We have organized our local organizations in Hokkaido, Tohoku (northeast Japan), San’in (western Japan), and Hokuriku (northwestern Japan). We will have a new local organization in the Kinki region (that includes Osaka). Our goal is to make present in all of the 47 prefectures. We will do our best in cooperation with prefectural federations in order for our union to be seen as an important union.
The National Federation of Financial Industry Trade Unions is an industrial organization established through a merger of bank workers’ federations. (Zenroren, February15, 2007)