Tuesday, April 25, 2017

’Pay the living wage!’~1,500 gather for Aequitas demonstration in Shinjuku

 Union members and citizens alike demonstrated for a national minimum wage of 1,500 yen on April 15, led by a youth group Aequitas (justice in Latin). This time, Aequitas called for greater participation from various labor unions, and their flags were allowed to go up. Labor unions including Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), Zenrokyo (National Trade Union Council), Zenroren (National Confederation of Trade Unions), and Federation of Independent Unions of Japan got together at the Shinjuku Central Park in Tokyo overcoming sectors and swelled up to a record 1,500 protesters.
 “The labor union flags are so colorful and beautiful,” said an activist AMAMIYA Karin with a ray of hope. “I’ve never seen so many flags at a demonstration. I hope the Aequitas movement will promote the labor movement to unite into one and gain a momentum.” A woman in her 20s who came independently said, “This is my first time participating in a demonstration, about which I learned through Twitter.  People around me are having difficulties as part-timers. I hope the standard of living will be raised higher.” When asked if it is strange to see so many labor union flags, she replied, “I felt relieved to see so many like-minded people here.” As people expect labor unions to struggle for workers’ rights, the flags hoisted together in large numbers and of various colors looked strong and powerful. 



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