Two of Japan's leading railway trade unions launched a national strike on Tuesday (18 April) in support of claims for a pay rise of 7-point-2 percent.
Two of Japan's leading railway trade unions launched a national strike on Tuesday (18 April) in support of claims for a pay rise of 7-point-2 percent. They rejected an employers' offer of 3-point-8 percent.
SYNOPSIS: About five million people had to stay at home or spend the night at their places of work when the strikes forced 7,000 trains to be cancelled. Long-distance and commuter services were hit by the strike, mainly in the northern island of Hokkaido and coastal areas around the Sea of Japan. In the Tokyo area, at least three people were slightly injured when commuters crammed into the few available trains and buses to reach the capital. All remaining forms of transport were at a premium. The railway strikers have now been joined by airline and dock workers. Almost half of Japan Air Line's flights out of Tokyo were cancelled on Thursday (20 April) and dock workers in several major ports stopped work as well. The wave of strikes is an annual event in Japan. Each spring, trade unionists go on strike to support claims for big wage increases for the next twelve months. It's called their "Shunto", or Spring offensive.