Vol.36-No.03 March 1,1997
By industry, the manufacturing sector has 3.821 million unionists, accounting for 31 percent of all union members, followed by services (1.927 million, or 15.6% of all unionists), transportation and telecommunications (1.607 million) and government (1.331 million). Construction witnessed a 25,000 increase in membership of, compared with the level of the previous year, but unions in all the other sectors saw a fall in their numbers.
In both manufacturing and services, the number of employees has increased but that of unionists has shown a decrease, dwarfing the unionization rate. A growing number of companies, affected by job reductions brought on by restructuring, have relied on part-time and dispatched workers. Despite this, efforts to organize these non-regular workers have been inadequate, and have apparently led to an annual drop in the unionization rate, the survey said. Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), strongly feeling a sense of crisis over the situation, has launched comprehensive 3-year plan to expand the size of union membership.
The unionization rate was high in government (63.4%), utilities (53.3%) and finance and insurance as well as real estate (44.9%). The unionization rate for private companies alone stood at 20.2 percent. However, the gap in the rate between large and smaller-scale enterprises was wide and the rate stood at 58.1 percent for companies with 1,000 or more regular employees and a mere 1.6 percent for those with 100 and fewer regular employees.
Of the 53.67 million employees, 41.22 million, or 76.8 percent remain unorganized; 7.66 million were affiliated with Rengo; 860,000 were under the umbrella of Zenroren (National Confederation of Trade Unions); 280,000 were members of Zenrokyo (National Trade Union Council); and 3.65 million were non-affiliated.
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