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Record wage increase for Japanese metal workers

19 April, 2023After wage negotiations in the sector, Japanese metalworkers’ unions have achieved an additional monthly wage increase of on average YEN8,407 (US$63), the highest since 2020.

In Japan, spring wage negotiations between unions and management take place on an annual basis. The Japan Council of Metalworkers’ Unions (JCM), representing two million metalworkers from more than 3,000 affiliated unions, set the standard of a unified demand on wages and working conditions for the annual rounds of industry-wide collective bargaining.
This year, the big companies in the metal sector released their decisions on the wage negotiations very quickly, with many agreeing to fully meet the union demands, considering the rising inflation and labour shortages in the industry.
JCM president Akihiro Kaneko said:

“We were able to achieve great synergy during the annual spring negotiations. Unions quickly received responses that matched their demands. Not only does this contribute to stability and security in the daily lives of the union members, it also raises the workplaces and competitiveness in the metal industry.”

JCM president Akihiro Kaneko

For many years, wages in Japan were stagnant due to deflation. But from 2014 and onwards, when additional wage increases were achieved for the first time in ten years, it reached YEN2,801 (US$21) in 2015 and this year’s raise is the highest since 2020.
In addition to the wage increase, JCM emphasizing the following outcome of the spring negotiations:

  • Bonuses averaging 5.4 months of annual pay
  • Intra-company minimum wage agreements with an average monthly raise of YEN7,359 (US$55), the largest increase since 2014