Basic Survey on Labour Unions for 2003

17 December 2003

Tadayoshi Kusano
General Secretary

  1. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) today announced results of the Basic Survey on Labour Unions as of 30 June 2003. According to the Survey, the membership of RENGO is 6,807 thousand, 138 thousand less than last year. The estimated unionisation rate is 19.6% (0.6% less than last year), with about 10,531 thousand (down 269 thousand) out of a total of 53,730 thousand (up 250 thousand). The rate being under 20%, the fall of unionisation rate has not come to a stop. RENGO severely faces the result.

  2. As the unionisation rate for companies with more than 1,000 workers is 51.9% (down 2.9%), with 9,040 thousand workers (up 2.5%), the number of workers have slightly increased, but the rate has decreased since last year. Employees working for companies with less than 99 workers amount to 25,920 thousand (down 0.3%) with the unionisation rate of 1.2% (down 0.1%). While small and medium sized enterprises represent about a half of total employees, their unionisation rate remain far low.

    There are 331 thousand organised part-time workers (up 13.1%) and their unionisation has increased to 3.0% (up 0.3%). However, further efforts should be made to further organise such workers.

  3. RENGO decided at its 8th Congress in October this year that the highest priority continue to be given to organising and set the target to organise 540 thousand new workers in coming two years. RENGO, its affiliates and local RENGOs are working together, with a special emphasis on organising workers in atypical employment, including part-timers, temporary and contract workers, as well as those in small and medium sized enterprises.

  4. Expanding and reinforcing an organisation are inseparable. Trade unions are most responsible for creating an environment where workers can devote themselves to their work without anxiety, and for taking a resolute stand against a trend that employment and work rules are less respected. In this context, RENGO will strengthen its effort toward realising “trade unions with the fullest confidence of all working men and women” and “socially influential trade union movement”.