In countries When we think of developing
In Japan, collective bargaining is named after “Shunto”.
Shunto refers to the annual spring round of wage thatis negotiable between trade unions and the big business of enterprise unions.They have three major labour laws which are the Labour Standards Law (LSL),Trade union Law (TUL), and the Labour Relations Adjustment Law (LRAL). Each labourlaw addresses different issues. LSL takes care of the working conditions,workplace safety and hygiene while LRAL deals with the adjustments and disputessettled by the law. The trade unions guarantee workers the right to be part ofthe collective bargaining process in accordance of the Constitution.
Thestructure of Labour Unions comprises of three levels which are theEnterprise-based labour union, Industrial trade unions and National centres. Enterprise-based labour union forms the bulk of Japan’strade unions. The most unique feature of Enterprise-based labour bargaining is theautonomy over the process. Additionally, enterprise-based union helps tomaintain and improve the working conditions by participating in collectivebargaining and consultation with the upper management. The three primary rights mostly practiced in the unioninclude the right to organise, bargain and engage in strikes. In most cases,only the company’s permanent staffs are considered to be part of the union. However,an increasing amount of enterprises is starting to unionise the non-permanentemployees that are in the service sectors. During the collectivebargaining process, the matters have to be written and either signed or affixedwith seals by both labour and management representatives.
The collectiveagreement requires three-fourth or more of the regular employees under the sameworking area or employees who have applied for the same collective agreements.The remaining workers will need to conclude their own collective agreements if anexception exists in some cases. The longest term for the validity of the collectiveagreements is three years by law. Generally, most agreements are within oneyear of duration as shown, 58.
4% of collective agreements provides a term inone year and 7.7% has a term of three years. In Japan, collective agreements can be cancelled by eitherparty giving a minimum of 90-day notice.
Comparisonbetween both countriesWhen we think of developing countries in Asia, Singaporeand Japan come to mind. The workers in both countries are allowed to join andorganise trade union among themselves. However, some rules and regulations specificto each country apply. In Singapore, trade unions have to register with the Registrarof Trade Unions within 1 month of formation and an election has to be doneevery four years. There must be at least seven members aged 21 years and aboveto form a union. For Japan, the employees need to have two or more membersto form a union at the enterprise level and it is not necessary for new unionsto be registered.
The election of the union will be held every year throughsecret ballot. However, only the blue-collar workers have the right to concludein collective bargaining. In Singapore, uniformed services are prohibited to formunions. Other than that, Singapore does not have minimum wages and it is notallowed to negotiate in some employment conditions such as promotions andtransfers. In comparison, Japan has minimum and maximum wages for the workerswhich take into consideration of highest and lowest minimum wages.