Commuters throughout Japan were hit on Tuesday (26 March) by a mass walkout -- public transport workers seeking higher wages and better social welfare to combat Japan's rapidly-rising cost of living.
MV Traffic held up along Tokyo street
GV Tokyo streets with traffic and cyclists (2)
GV Bus depot with strikers signs on gates (3 shots)
CV People getting into back of truck
Cu Passengers TILT DOWN TO pair of shoes
Gv Truck drives off
GTV Demonstrators with red head bands
SV Striker handing out leaflets
GV Commuters down escalator
GV Commuters on railway platform and getting on train (3 shots)
GV Station Sign
SV Stationary train
SV Commuters walking along railway line
Initials SC/305 SC/324
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Background: Commuters throughout Japan were hit on Tuesday (26 March) by a mass walkout -- public transport workers seeking higher wages and better social welfare to combat Japan's rapidly-rising cost of living.
Some 2,650,000 workers -- operating Japan's state and private rail and bus services -- went on a series of strikes lasting from 12 to 24 hours. Postal services and chemical and textile industries were also affected.
The strike -- part of the annual Spring Labour Offensive, or "Shunto" and one of the largest in Japan's history -- was organised by the Japanese General Council of Trade Unions and other large union groups.
About 60,000 riot-police were posted at major stations and other transport points to guard against the possibility of clashes between supporters and opponents of the strike action. But there were no incidents, and Tokyo newspaper editorials wondered whether the Japanese had become "work-shy".
Thousands of office workers made no attempt to get to work, and simply took a holiday. Golf course throughout the country were reported to be in heavy demand.
While Tuesday's strike was going on, the Council of Public Workers unions, representing more than 800,000 workers and the Labour Joint Struggle Committee, representing another eight million were planning more -- and longer strikes -- for next month.
SYNOPSIS: Traffic was choked and chaotic in central Tokyo on Tuesday as public transport workers went on strike in support of higher wages and better social welfare. More than two-and-a-half million workers, operating Japan's private and state-run rail and bus services stopped work.
Bus services were paralysed until midday while the rail workers stayed on strike a few hours longer. The strike was one of the biggest in Japan's history. It was organised by the Japanese General Council of Trade Unions and other large union groups.
The highly publicised strike was expected to create tension -- and possible violent clashes -- between supporters and opponents of the annual Spring Labour Offensive. Sixty thousand riot police were placed on guard at major stations and other transport points. But there were no incidents.
In fact, the Japanese people took it so much into their stride that many newspaper editorials wondered whether the Japanese had become "work-shy". Thousands of normally conscientious office workers made no attempts to get to work, ad took a holiday.
While the station yards were deserted, the country's golf courses were in heavy demand. The organisers of the strike immediately began planing more -- and longer -- strikes for next month.