Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Nursing and other unions gathered in central Tokyo on Thursday to demand improvements in working conditions including a reassessment of the minimum hourly wage, an eight-hour work day and an end to wage disparities between the different prefectures.
More than 300 unionists, including government workers, prefectural employees and taxi drivers, marched to the Diet to meet representatives from different political parties and present their grievances and demands to increase the minimum hourly wage that ranges from ¥1,000 to ¥1,500 to cope with increases in the price of goods.
They were also seeking a reduction in the national consumption tax to 5 percent from the current 10 percent.
Unionists also went to the headquarters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and met a representative to present their demands.
Many of the protests focused on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Unionists warned the government to take action to prevent the collapse of the health system.
A member of the nurses’ union who is a health worker at Sogo Hospital in Tachikawa told Arab News Japan that the hospital has taken action against the Olympics by posting notices visible from the street to alert the public about the situation of hospitals as COVID-19 infections increase.
He called for action, noting that the union could speak out freely, while employees in public service hospitals could not. Protecting freedom of expression was also one of the demands of the demonstration.
Nursing and other unions gathered in central Tokyo on Thursday to demand improvements in working conditions. (ANJP Photo/ Pierre Boutier)