Cross Currents Home
Resources | About Us | 日本語サイト
Home Learn About Japan Learn About Japan-U.S. Cross Currents Learn About the U.S.

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
Listen in English | Japanese Japanese View Article in English | Japanese
A sea of red flags flutter over a group of marchers in the street.
Labor union members march in a spring offensive in 2003.
Photo courtesy of Doro-Chiba Union.
The Spring Labor Offensive (Shuntō)
Shuntō, The Spring Labor Offensive, was devised by the Sōhyō labor federation to strengthen the bargaining power of enterprise unions with their companies. All the enterprise unions in one industry would announce similar wage demands each spring, and begin their wage bargaining with a short strike on the same day. Even though each enterprise union bargained with its own company management, the industry-wide coordination helped to set similar wage goals across an industry. Sōhyō coordinated the day that each industry would hold its strike. This created a wave of colorful spring strike activity and an atmosphere of excitement and competition around the bargaining process. The Spring Labor Offensive was a prominent feature of Japanese labor union activity until the break up of Sōhyō in 1989.
Special Terms: enterprise union  |  strike

Download Podcast in English | Japanese
Document | Audio-Video | Chart | Picture | Map