Amidst COVID 19 Slowdown: Japanese Finance Unions Settle for Moderate Gains
Unprecedented health and economic crisis have stalled the annual spring wage negotiation campaigns of the Japanese finance unions. The unions have managed to secure moderate wage increases for their members to cushion the increases in the cost of living. Realizing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the business levels of the banks and insurance companies the unions were keen to negotiate to improve the non-monetory benefits for their members.
Keeping in line with the last year's achievements all unions were keen to secure higher increases for non-standard irregular employees to minimize the differences between permanent and part-time employees.
ZENSHINREN - National Federation of Trust Bank Employees’ Unions persuaded the management to delink the wage revisions and the revision of other terms and condition of employment from the main negotiations. Lumpsum payments were received in recognition of the employee’s contributions in realizing banks medium-term business plans. Reduced working hours to meet the special needs of employees at different stages of their life, was the primary aim of the ROSAIROREN- Federation of ZENROSAI Trade Unions, namely, the labour insurance employee’s federation. The companies agreed to limit six hours of working for parents having disabled children. Aside from that the family care leave to look after the elderly parents were also increased up to 180 days. business plan.
ZENROKIN- Federation of Labour Bank Workers Union of Japan managed to negotiate a higher hourly rate increase to temporary staff around JPY 1,242 over. ZENROKIN also secured reduced working hours for members who are having children attending schools.
FNIU – Federation of Non-Life Insurance Workers’ Unions of Japan was keen on sticking to their policy of securing good work-life balance for members. The Federation was pursuing a goal for their members to experience a higher degree of job satisfaction while progressing in the career.
LIU – National Federation of Life Insurance Workers’ Unions – Union negotiated increased bonus payments for some categories of regular staff. Establishment of a retirement fund defined contributory pension system for part-time and contract workers was an outstanding achievement for LIU. Special leave for volunteering and for childcare was also secured for the contract and part-timers, with new incentive payments for sales staff following the mandatory training on sales of insurance products.
JPGU - Japanese Postal Group Union – Managed to retain their bonus payments as paid in last year which amounts to 4.3 months’ salary. The union's main aim to regularize more irregular workers in the company. JPGU managed to expose the irregular workers to undergo company training and secured an additional allowance upon successful completion of the training. Promoting diversity in the workplace was another priority for JPGU and those LGBT groups are also now entitled to bereavement leave aside marriage leave for same-sex couples.
NOH-DAN-ROH - National Federation of Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Cooperatives Workers’ Unions are behind schedule due to the impacts of COVID-19. However, most of the affiliates won the same wage amount as last year and even some of them gained some increases in initial salary.