The final tally of 2006 wage settlement conclusion (average of all sectors) shows that the average settlement among major enterprises was 5,813 yen, an increase rate of 1.76%, which hovered at 5,000-yen level for five years.
Despite the Japanese economy is back to the path to recovery, the recovery remains uneven, with disparities evident among regions, industries, or companies. With this situation in mind, Nippon Keidanren emphasized in the Position Paper 2006 that across-the-board wage increases belong to the past, and wage determination is up to management and labor in individual companies based on making management decision from the long-term perspective in the aspect of companies' ability to pay and controlling total labor costs. In fact, as tough international competition has caused by swift advance of globalization and sense of uncertainty about the future have heightened, Nippon Keidanren has indicated the management side's basic stance for this spring round; each company should find the best solutions, through negotiations between labor and management, in accordance with that company's circumstances and discuss to reflect short-term business results in bonuses.
Meanwhile, unions' demands varied from "substantive wage improvement", "securing annual increments" to "no demand", and a word of "base wage increase" disappeared even from the wage demand of trade unions instead. In response to these demands of trade unions, the agreements reached also varied. Some management accepted their labor demand of wage improvement, some agreed on only annual increments, some answered raising welfare expenditures and some set up committees to continue negotiations.
Apart from wages, various subjects regarding employees' working style were picked up and some positive results were achieved, including enhancing support measures for child or nursing care, reemployment system for elderly and establishing a labor-management committee regarding health care or development of physical strength.
The spring labor-management negotiations have become opportunities to consider various subjects regarding labor condition or working style, rather than negotiations of mainly wages. In this context, the spring labor-management negotiations in this year marked the certain step forward.