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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 bowing to audience at press conference, while audience bows back
As Japan National Railway became Japan Railway, many company officials encounter organizational changes.
Photo from Mainichi Shimbun.
Privatization of Japan National Railway
In 1987 the Japanese government privatized the debt-ridden Japan National Railway (JNR), which had run Japan's national railway network since the Meiji era. The JNR lines were divided into eleven smaller regional Japan Rail (JR) companies. A settlement headquarters took over the railway's assets and longterm debt, which it planned to pay off by selling JNR-owned land and stock in the new JR companies. The new JR companies planned to eliminate 100,000 jobs, most of which would come from the ranks of JNR unionized workers, who had vigorously protested the privatization plan. Under normal circumstances in Japan it is very difficult to lay off or dismiss workers who are regular employees. The massive job losses were possible in this case because the original government employer, JNR, was dissolved and the new JR companies did not have to retain all of their workers.
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