Summer Bonuses Going Up 4.17% At Big Firms

Summer bonuses at large companies are set to grow for a second straight year, according to the results of a first-round survey published Wednesday by the Japan Business Federation, or Nippon Keidanren.

The average agreed-on bonus was up 4.17% from last year to 809,604 yen, reflecting the economic recovery up until the March 11 earthquake.

Japan football players to form union

Japanese football players are to form a union to demand better working conditions, including bigger rewards for international duty, their association said Wednesday.

The Japan Pro-Footballers Association (JPFA), currently representing some 960 players at home and abroad as a fraternal body, said it had decided to register itself as a labour union with the right to collective bargaining and strikes.

The decision was made by a majority vote at a special JPFA general meeting on February 28, the JPFA said in a press release.

“It is aimed at having serious discussions about the Japanese football world in the future,” the statement said, adding that the association is following the example of major footballing nations where players are unionised.

The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) has advised the 15-year-old JPFA to launch “union activities as soon as possible,” the Nikkan Sports daily said.

Keidanren urges spring raises

The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) has endorsed a committee report recommending that employers grant regular pay raises to employees at this spring’s wage talks in view of improving corporate earnings.

The upcoming negotiations between labor and management will focus on the maintenance of regular wage hikes, according to the report by Keidanren’s Committee on Management and Labor Policy.

Keidanren OKs regular wage hikes in ‘shunto’ talks

The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) has no plans this year to pressure employers to stop making regular pay hikes during this spring’s labor-management wage talks because business conditions have improved in recent months, a final draft of the federation’s negotiating policy report showed Thursday.

“Most companies hold wage talks with the focus on maintaining regular pay hikes,” the nation’s top business lobby said in the report, indicating its willingness to reverse its stance on the matter.

In its report for last year’s “shunto” wage negotiations, Keidanren said it would consider encouraging companies to freeze regular wage hikes while the economy attempts to recover. This year it is softening its stance because earnings, particularly at big companies, have improved.

Ginza hostesses sue upscale club over unpaid wages

The former hostesses, aged in their 20s and 30s, are seeking a labor ruling in the Tokyo District Court, demanding a total of 4.38 million yen in compensation.

According to case documents, one of the former hostesses aged in her 30s joined the club in December 2009, agreeing to a daily wage of 46,000 yen. However her pay was docked by 10 to 100 percent for reasons such as late arrival, leaving early, and failing to reach targets for bringing in customers.

Between January and July this year, she was completely without pay, and had to rely on advance wage payments. With ballooning debts, she left her job at the end of August. The other two former hostesses were in similar positions, and the three joined the Kyabakura Union, a union for hostess club employees. They sought payment of unpaid wages, but negotiations broke down.

Commenting on the case, lawyer Ichiro Natsume said, “The work conditions of the former hostesses were controlled with time cards and their quotas were imposed by the club. Their treatment constitutes a violation of the Labor Standards Law.”