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A group of men, some in suits, carry signs in a protest.
Labor Unions
  1. Rapid Rise of Labor Unions in Japan from 1945
  2. Postwar Japan's first Labor Laws
  3. Labor Strikes and Production Control
  4. Bloody May Day (May 1, 1952)
  5. Formation of Sōhyō (Japan General Council of Trade Unions)
  6. The Rise and Fall of Radical Union Activity
  7. Enterprise Unions in Japan
  8. The Miike Mine Strike
  9. Strikes Japanese-Style
  10. Who Can Strike in Japan
  11. Kinds of Strikes in Japan
  12. The Spring Labor Offensive (Shuntō)
  13. Enterprise Union Cooperation
  14. Privatization of Japan National Railway
  15. Rengō and the Merger of Japanese Labor Federations
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Men in auditorium listen to speaker at podium
A speaker addresses members at the inagural meeting of Sōhyō.
Photo from Mainichi Shimbun.
Formation of Sōhyō (Japan General Council of Trade Unions)
The General Council of Trade Unions (Sōhyō) was formed in 1950 with strong backing from the Japan Socialist Party. It was intended as an alternative to the Sanbetsu union federation, which was affiliated with the Japan Communist Party. The JCP was the target of the Occupation's Red Purge in 1950, and many of its top union leaders were purged from their positions. Sōhyō grew rapidly to become the largest union federation in Japan. Over time, Sōhyō came to represent many public sector workers who were not permitted to strike. However, Sōhyō also initiated and organized the annual Spring Labor Offensive, or Shuntō, in which private sector unions in particular industries coordinated brief strikes to provide a dramatic start to annual wage negotiations. Sōhyō was formally dissolved in 1989 with the formation of Rengō, which its member unions joined.
Special Terms: union federation  |  public sector workers  |  strike

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