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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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A large group of people gather outdoors while holding colorful banners and signs
Members of RENGO, an enterprise union, participate in a May Day rally.
Photo from International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
Enterprise Unions in Japan
With the support of Occupation authorities and conservative Japanese politicians, labor became more moderate in its approach towards management. The new relationship that emerged in the 1950s between workers and management is called enterprise unionism. An enterprise union is a company union and not an industry-wide union or craft union. It includes all “regular” non-management employees—both blue collar and white collar—regardless of the work they do. It is usually led by employees who come from the ranks of young white collar workers, but have not yet become part of management. Enterprise unions exclude contract (temporary term) workers. Contract workers cannot join the union and so do not enjoy the same benefits regular union members do. The enterprise union system provides strong job security and good wages and benefits to regular employees by allowing companies to hire contract workers, who do not have the same job security and benefits.
Special Terms: enterprise union  |  job security  |  contract  |  craft union

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