Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on the 17th of last month a data titled “Overview of the Basic Survey of the Reiwa 3-Year Trade Union”. ‘Reiwa’ is the Japanese era name, and the first year is May 1, 2019, when King Naruhito ascended to the throne. It is the same principle that the North Korean era name ‘Juche’ uses the year Kim Il-sung was born as the first year. Therefore, the 3rd year of Raywa corresponds to 2021. In Japan, the Basic Survey of Trade Unions is one of the general statistical surveys conducted every year since Showa 22. Showa is the year of the reign of Hirohito, recorded as Japan’s longest-serving king, who reigned from December 25, 1926 to January 7, 1989. Showa 22 is 1947.
The 11-page ‘Overview of the Basic Survey of the Reiwa 3-Year Trade Union’ consists of nine pages in all. (1) Survey overview, (2) Definitions, (3) Usage precautions, (4) Labor union and union membership status, (5) Part-time worker status, (6) Industry status, (7) Company size (private enterprise) ), (8) Annex 1, and (9) Annex 2. Investigations include △type of labor union △classification of union existence and existence △applicable laws △location of union office △number of union members △name and location of union headquarters and superior union △number of union members by company size △type of affiliated senior union, etc. there are eight This is the result of conducting a survey on the current situation on June 30, 2021 in July of the same year.
The survey was conducted by distributing questionnaires on labor unions through the departments and offices in charge of labor administration established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in each prefecture, the local administrative unit, and collecting the questionnaires entered by the union in the reverse order. ‘Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare → Department in charge of labor administration of prefectures → Office in charge of labor administration → Labor union’. In the calculation of the organization rate, the denominator used the figure for June of the year from the number of employees in the ‘Labor Force Survey’ conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
As of June 30, 2021, the total number of labor unions in Japan is 23,392, and the number of union members is 178,000. Unlike Korea, where the majority of union members belong to early-stage unions, in Japan, the absolute majority of union members belong to company-specific labor unions. The number of unions decreased by 369 (1.6%) compared to the previous year, and the number of union members decreased by 38,000 (0.4%). As a result, the union organization rate fell to 16.9% from 17.1% in the previous year. The number of employees, the denominator of the calculation of the organization rate, was 50.9 million (27.2 million women). The number of female union members was 3.47 million, an increase of 34,000 (1.0%) from the previous year, but the female organization rate was 12.8%, the same as the previous year.
Among union members, part-time workers amounted to 1363,000, a decrease of 12,000 (0.8%) from the previous year, and the proportion of union members accounted for 13.6%, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous year. The organization rate of part-time workers was 8.4%, down 0.3 percentage points from the previous year. Part-time workers are workers who work fewer hours compared to full-time and full-time workers. When looking at the number of union members in the central organization of labor unions, the Japan Federation of Trade Unions (Rengo) had the most with 6.99 million, followed by the former union (724,000) and the former union (97,000).
The advantage of the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s labor union survey compared to Korea is that it provides the union organization rate divided by industry. Breaking down the number of union members by industry shows that manufacturing (267 million), wholesale/retail (1.52 million), transportation/postal industry (840 thousand), construction (840 thousand), public service (790,000), finance/insurance (740,000), Medical/welfare (510,000), education/learning support (440,000), information and communication (400,000), lodging/food service (330,000), complex service business (260,000), other services (200,000), Electricity/gas/heat supply/waterworks (160,000), academic research/professional technology service (140,000), life-related service/entertainment (120,000), real estate/article rental (40,000), agriculture, forestry, and fishery (1 10,000), followed by mining, quarrying, and sand mining (5,000 people).
The union organization rate, divided by industry, is the combined service business (51.6%), electricity/gas/heat supply/waterworks (51.4%), finance/insurance (45.4%), public service (30.8%), mining, quarrying, and private hunting ( 26.4%), manufacturing (26.2%), transport/postal industry (25.0%), construction industry (22.0%), wholesale/retail industry (15.3%), education/learning support industry (14.2%), information and communication industry (14.0%), Accommodation/food service (9.9%), life-related service/entertainment (7.2%), academic research/professional/technical service (7.1%), medical/welfare (6.1%), other service industry (4.7%), real estate/product The rental industry (3.0%) was followed by agriculture, forestry, and fishing (1.7%).
The current state of labor unions by company size surveyed private companies, excluding public companies. The private sector has 8.762,000 members. Of the 178,000 union members, 87% belong to the private sector. 66.2% (5.8 million people) of private enterprise union members belonged to companies with 1,000 or more workers, 12.9% (1.3 million people) belonged to companies with 300 to 999 members, and 6.5% (570,000 people) belonged to companies with 100 to 299 people. The proportion of union members belonging to companies with fewer than 100 employees was only 2.3% (200,000). The number of union members whose company size cannot be estimated was 12.1%, with more than 1 million. The union organization rate by company size was estimated to be 39.2% for private companies with 1,000 or more employees, 11.1% for private companies with 100 to 999 employees, and 0.8% for private companies with fewer than 100 employees.
It is impressive that Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare allows civil servants to directly conduct a survey on the current state of labor unions. Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor provides a service (outsourcing) to university professors or external research institutes to investigate the current state of labor unions. Is the ‘outsourcing of labor administration’, the only way to outsource work that Korean public officials have to do or can do directly, waste money, is to investigate the current state of labor unions? What are the public officials in Korea so busy with? Do the things they keep them busy with really help people’s lives? This is my thoughts after reading the ‘Overview of the Basic Labor Union Survey’ of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare in Japan.
Asian Labor Relations (AIR) Consultant ([email protected])