Sunday, June 26, 2016

Listen to the voices of non-regular workers, ‘Raise the minimum wage to 1,000 yen right now!’~ Action held at the Central Minimum Wage Council

The Central Minimum Wage Council was held on June 14 to deliberate on the national minimum wage, which will go into effect in October. Nearly 100 unions members campaigning for a “substantial minimum wage hike” converged on the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. They spoke through a microphone, demanding, “The current national average hourly wage is 798 yen, and it is too low. Raise the minimum wage right now and in each prefecture to 1000 yen, or better still 1500 yen!” During the central council, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister SHIOZAKI Yasuhisa emphasized, “The minimum wage hike is determined entirely by the economic growth.”  Under the government proposal to raise the wage by 3 % each year (or by 24 yen), we have a long way to go toward achieving the target amount of 1000 yen and up to 1500 yen, and we will have little or no hope for that any time soon. SAITO Hiroki, an executive board member of the National Confederation of Trade Unions commonly known as Zenroren, sat in on the council meeting. “I was kicked out of the meeting as it was closed to the public,” Saito said in a chagrined tone. He was allowed in only at the beginning of the meeting. There are four council members representing workers, all of whom are leaders of Rengo, Japanese Trade Unions Confederation comprising major private companies. The 243 members of the Prefectural Minimum Wage Council are all Rengo-related. There are only a few female members, and no clear standard for electing and closed-door meetings. “It seems impossible for the council to improve the minimum wage system,” Saito said indignantly. (M)

 6 14日午後、今年10月からの最低賃金の水準を決める「中央最低賃金審議会・第一回」が厚労省で開催された。「最低賃金大幅引き上げキャンペーン」の労 組メンバー約100人は、厚労省前に集まりマイクで「現在の全国平均時給798円は低すぎる。いますぐどこでも1000円に!1500円をめざして」と訴 えた。審議会で塩崎厚労大臣は「経済成長あっての最賃引き上げ」を強調しており、政府案の年率3%(24円)では「10001500円」達成は遠い未来 で、実現もおぼつかない。傍聴した全労連常任幹事の斎藤寛生さんは、「非公開となり追い出された」と悔しそうに語る。傍聴できるのは冒頭だけなのだ。審議 委員には労働者代表が4人いるが、4人とも民間大手企業の「連合」の幹部たち。斎藤さんは「全国243人の審議委員の全員が連合系。女性もわずか。その選 ぶ基準も不透明。そして審議は非公開だ。これでは最賃制度はいっこうに改善されない」と憤っていた。(M

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