Japanese National Railways (JNR) services were half paralysed across the country on Wednesday (17 March) as two powerful JNR labour unions launched a 24-hour strike at selected stations.
GV and SV demonstrators walking along street under umbrellas in rain (4 shots)
SV sign Marubeni office building (2 shots)
GV crowds outside building (2 shots)
SV AND CU Chairman of Sohyo Makaota Ichikawa with loudhailer addressing demonstration (3 shots)
GV Deserted rail platform
People walking over flyover over empty platform (4 shots)
Initials RH/0048 RH/AMN/OK/0108
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Background: Japanese National Railways (JNR) services were half paralysed across the country on Wednesday (17 March) as two powerful JNR labour unions launched a 24-hour strike at selected stations.
At the same time thousands of workers took part in the first of spring labour offensive rallies in Tokyo. The demonstration was staged by the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan (Sohyo). Sohyo originally anticipated 50,000 workers would take part but heavy rain kept many of them away.
The stoppages by the NJR unions - the National Railway Workers Union (Kokuro) and the National Railway Motive Power Union (Doro) - are part of the first unified action in the 1976 spring labour offensive.
According to the JNR, an estimated 6,500,000 people were adversely affected during the morning rush-hour.
Commuter transport in Tokyo and Osaka, the second largest city in Japan, were running, but their schedules were disrupted by a 10 minute slowdown, planned by JNR unions.
Among the aims of the strike were changes in the fiscal 1976 national budget, employment security, a nation-wide uniform wage system and establishment of the basic rights of workers.
In addition the unions also demanded a through probe into the Lockheed payoff scandal which has been the subject of various demonstrations staged by opposition government parties during this month.
The demonstrating workers in Tokyo marched to Marubeni Corporation - the former official agent of Lockheed in Japan until they cancelled early in March.
Soyho is the governing council of all trade unions in the country.
SYNOPSIS: Heavy rain prevented many demonstrators turning out for Japan's first spring offensive. Even so, some 5,000 people marched in Tokyo for this rally which ended at the Marubeni Corporation - the former official agent of Lockheed until Lockheed cancelled early this month.
The demonstration was to draw attention to changes in the fiscal national budget this year, employment security, a nationwide wage system and establishment of the basic rights of workers. It was also aimed at pressing for demands for a probe into the Lockheed payoff scandal.
Meanwhile, thousands of rail workers throughout the country joined in the spring a 24-hour strike. Japanese National Railways services were half paralysed across the country as the two powerful rail unions went on strike at selected stations. Some six-and-a-half million workers were affected.