Toyota and Its Unions Remain Conflicted on Wage Increase Proposals

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Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) and its union-represented employees are continuing to face off over disagreements about wage increases, as the company, its suppliers, and component manufacturers continue to push against new proposals brought forth by the unions, a Japanese labor official told Bloomberg.

Masamoto Azuma, who is the Chair of the Federation of All Toyota Workers’ Unions, said that the management for the companies have vocalized that they can’t meet the requests because higher wages would in turn increase costs, and that employment should be prioritized. The federation is made up of 312 unions which represent about 329,000 members.

“The management’s thinking is very distant from our requests, the rift has remained,” Azuma said on Wednesday in Toyota City, Japan. “This kind of management is just too selfish. They only speak from their own standpoint.”

The tensions have partially arisen on a behest from Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who is encouraging the raising of wages to help cease Japan’s deflation. Abe’s economic policies have caused the yen to slide drastically against the dollar, and as a result boosted earnings from exports and overseas sales, helping push Toyota’s forecast to a record 1.9 trillion yen ($18.5 billion) profit for this fiscal year, Bloomberg said.

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