The annual spring offensive of the Japanese finance sector unions in 2019, has been to seek improvement in working conditions rather than reaching settlements on higher wages and bonuses. Majority of the unions in the Banking and Insurance sector achieved moderate gains on the basic salary and bonuses.
Almost all unions rejoice their achievement in increasing the salaries of non-regular employees. Some unions have sacrificed the wage increases for their regular employee members to improve the quality of life of the irregular employees. The unions’ campaign to recruit the temporary and non-standard employees standing in solidarity is a worthy cause with a view to demand for equal pay for equal work.
The finance sector unions in Japan, have responded to the call by their members to address the overworking culture impacting on their lives. Shorter working hours break in between work, and longer paid holidays have also achieved in few places. The Life Insurance industry unions have secured a new performance-based compensation based on customer satisfaction responses for the sales staff. The Life Insurance industry is working towards workstyle reforms enabling the employees to feel the value of their work-life for greater satisfaction.
Aside, the wage increases, some unions have negotiated family care leave depending on the need for child and elder care along with flexible working arrangements. In some cases, the retired employees were given the option to be rehired by the company. Similarly, the accumulation of unused annual leave was negotiated to enable members to enjoy life with paid holidays.
The Japanese Finance sector unions are working with a vision to improve the working condition and fair work practices to cut down on the excessive work culture, to enjoy a balanced life taking into account the demographic shift of the population.