Debate on raising minimum wages Council will start The impact of the new corona is 17:23 on June 26

A MHLW council started on the 26th to discuss how to raise the minimum wage this year. A significant increase has been made in the last few years, but this time the focus will be on how to continue the increase as the effects of the new coronavirus spread to a wide range of industries.

The minimum wage is the minimum wage that a company must pay to a worker, and the amount is set for each prefecture, and the current national average is 901 yen per hour.

Every year, representatives of labor and management such as the Union and Keidanren consult with each other at the council of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to determine a guideline for the amount of increase, and the discussion this year began on the 26th.

Regarding the minimum wage, the government has set a goal of achieving an average national wage of 1,000 yen at an early stage, and by the end of last year, a drastic increase of about 3% was being made for four consecutive years.

However, the impact of the new coronavirus has spread to a wide range of industries, and management is calling for a freeze, saying that "small and medium-sized enterprises with poor physical strength are not in a situation to endure the withdrawal."

At the Council on 26th, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Kato called, "While sticking to the policy of aiming for 1000 yen early, the impact on employment and the economy is severe, and now it is the top priority to protect employment by citing the public and private sectors". It was.

The council is expected to provide a guideline for the amount to be raised next month, but the focus will be on how to continue raising the amount while management is cautious.

UA Zensen "Should not stop the flow"

Akihiko Matsuura, chairman of UA Zensen, to which labor unions such as distribution and service industries, textiles, and chemicals belong, said, "While this is the effect of the new coronavirus, the management side argues that it is difficult to raise the minimum wage. The question is how to continue the hike, not only in the short-term reason but also from a long-term perspective, we should not stop the flow to correct too low wages and inequality. That's it."

In addition, we touched on the so-called "essential workers" who carry out the work that is essential for maintaining social functions, and said, "The evaluation of those who have continued to work while fighting the fear of infection, such as supermarkets and logistics personnel, From the perspective of how it will be reflected in wages, attention has been paid to raising the minimum wage. It does not mean that it cannot be raised at all."

Japan Chamber of Commerce "Unprecedented crisis situation"

Takashi Tsukamoto, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to which 1.24 million small and medium-sized enterprises nationwide belong, said, ``In the unprecedented crisis situation of the new coronavirus, bankruptcy and closure of business leap by raising minimum wage Many of the voices from SMEs that continue to make the most of their efforts to maintain employment and continue their business are the top priorities, saying "Do not raise the minimum wage". That is why we think the hike should be frozen.”

In addition, the government has set a goal of achieving an average national wage of 1,000 yen early and has made a significant increase of about 3% for four consecutive years. However, the government's policy is one-on-one.The influence of the virus needs to be prepared for a long-term war and the presumed economic environment has changed. You should consider it carefully."

Zero raise amount only once

Regarding minimum wages, the government has set a goal of achieving an average national wage of 1,000 yen at an early stage, and the national council has also set a target for a significant increase.

In light of this, the national average has continued to rise by about 3% for the fourth consecutive year, and the amount raised last year reached a record high of 27 yen, exceeding the hourly wage of 1,000 yen for the first time in Tokyo and Kanagawa.

However, in response to the spread of the new coronavirus this year, the management side has called for the freeze of the increase, saying "SMEs with poor physical strength are not in a situation to endure the increase".

Among them, in the lodging and restaurant industries that were greatly affected, the proportion of workers who work below the minimum wage in fiscal 2018 was 10.2%, which is higher than other industries, and when the minimum wage was raised, Some are worried that they will be able to retain employment.

Although the national council did not give a measure during the past economic crisis such as the bursting of the IT bubble and the Lehman shock in the 2000s, and has set it to zero, the actual amount raised was zero. It was only in 2002 after the burst of the IT bubble.

Restaurant owner "honestly tough"

The Italian restaurant in Bunkyo, Tokyo, which is run by two married couples, employs three part-time employees.

When it opened 6 years ago, the minimum wage in Tokyo was 888 yen per hour, and the hourly wage for a part-time job was about 900 yen. Since then, the minimum wage has been raised year by year, and it is now 1013 yen, and the hourly wage for part-time jobs is 1020 yen, which is more than 10% higher than when it opened.

As the burden of personnel costs increases year by year, due to the influence of the new coronavirus, it has been forced to change to daytime take-out only business from April, and the sales of last month decreased by half compared with last year.

Currently, we are reopening meals in the store, including at night, but we have shortened the closing time by 1 hour to prevent infection, and reduced the number of seats to about 60% to avoid ``crowding''. It means that we can no longer expect the same profits as before.

Therefore, if the minimum wage is raised, we have no choice but to deal with it by reducing our own salary or reducing part-time work shifts.

Nobuyuki Yoshikawa, the owner of “TRATORIANOBI,” said, “I'm collecting as many customers as I can while fighting infections, but I haven't gotten back on my feet, and I've managed to make use of national subsidies. If the current situation continues for one year, management will be tough. It is honest that it is difficult to increase labor costs now that income is decreasing due to the influence of coronavirus. I would like to make a difference in hourly wages according to ability. But if the minimum wage goes up, that becomes difficult."

US Democratic Party demands more than double

Even in the United States, where widening inequality is highlighted, there is ongoing debate over raising the minimum wage.

In the United States, prices vary greatly depending on the region, so the minimum wage is set for each state and city, but the federal government determines that it is about 7 dollars and 25 cents an hour (770 yen in Japanese yen), which is 10 years. It has not changed.

The opposition Democratic Party, which attaches great importance to protecting workers, submitted a bill to Congress last year to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, but the ruling party and the Republican Party set the minimum wage in the state. I'm against it because it's up to you.

In addition, it has been pointed out that if the minimum wage is raised by the industry due to the new coronavirus, management will be further pressured and it will be impossible to hire employees. However, the Democratic Party's former Vice President Biden, whose nomination has been confirmed in the autumn presidential election, emphasizes the protection of workers in light of the intentions of left-wing legislators who are calling for the resolution of the disparity, and stance on the minimum wage. Will be noticed.

Greater economic impact in the UK Corona

In April, Britain raised the national minimum wage for full-time workers aged 25 and over by 6.2% from the previous year. As a result, hourly wages increased from £8.21 to £8.72 (JPY 1092 to JPY 1160).

Britain's minimum wages are age-specific, with 21% to 24 years increasing by 6.5%, 18-20 years increasing by 4.9%, and 16-17 years increasing by 4.6%.

The increase was decided in December last year, but it was implemented as planned while the British economy was hit hard by the spread of the new coronavirus, and the government said, ``Treatment of those who work at the front line of virus response Will be improved."

Trade union groups called it an "important step in solving the problems faced by low-wage workers," and called for an early rise to £10 per hour.

On the other hand, the British Chamber of Commerce has complained, "Companies are suffering from higher costs. Due to a significant increase in wages, cash flow will become more difficult, and capital investment will have to be reduced."

The British government plans to further raise the minimum wage in the future, but the advisory body that makes the recommendation says that it is necessary to determine the impact of the virus on the economy when making decisions such as the pace of implementation.

Conflicts between Korean labor unions

In Korea, discussions on the minimum wage began in Korea this month on the basis of discussions on a national committee in which stakeholders from both labor and management discuss the impact of the new coronavirus. Is in trouble.

In South Korea, the proportion of non-regular employees has reached nearly 40%, and the issue of correcting income inequality has become an issue, and the Moon Jaein administration has announced a policy of increasing income and aiming for economic growth. The 2018 minimum hourly wage was increased by 16.4% compared to the previous year.

However, the number of cases where employees are dismissed is increasing, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises that cannot cope with the increase in personnel costs, and a cautious view of a sharp increase in wages is spreading.

According to KBS, a public broadcaster, at the second meeting held on the 25th, a member of the management side said, "The effects of the new coronavirus have been prolonged and the management of the company is deteriorating. It is desirable to make decisions that are in line with people's eyes,” he said.

On the other hand, on the worker side, South Korea's largest labor union proposed to increase the hourly wage by 25.4% from the current 8590 won (about 765 yen in Japanese yen) to 960 yen, while another labor The union insisted that the cost be 891 yen or less, considering the burden on the company side, and the Korean media reported that it was a "labor-labor conflict" rather than a "labor-management conflict."