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A group of men, some in suits, carry signs in a protest.
Labor Unions
  1. Rapid Rise of Labor Unions in Japan from 1945
  2. Postwar Japan's first Labor Laws
  3. Labor Strikes and Production Control
  4. Bloody May Day (May 1, 1952)
  5. Formation of Sōhyō (Japan General Council of Trade Unions)
  6. The Rise and Fall of Radical Union Activity
  7. Enterprise Unions in Japan
  8. The Miike Mine Strike
  9. Strikes Japanese-Style
  10. Who Can Strike in Japan
  11. Kinds of Strikes in Japan
  12. The Spring Labor Offensive (Shuntō)
  13. Enterprise Union Cooperation
  14. Privatization of Japan National Railway
  15. Rengō and the Merger of Japanese Labor Federations
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Hundreds of miners, in helmets, sit in protest
Striking miners wearing their strike headbands and helmets succeed in postponing one closing date.
Photo from Mainichi Shimbun.
The Miike Mine Strike
The most severe labor disputes in Japan are often about company efforts to dismiss workers or reduce the size of their labor force, rather than disputes over wages and working conditions. One of the most severe labor disputes in postwar Japan occurred at the Miike coal mine in Omuta, Kyushu, in 1959-1960. As part of a national restructuring in the coal industry, in 1959 the Mitsui company announced plans to close the Miike mine, which would put thousands of miners out of work. The miners went on strike to protest the planned closures. The dispute continued for over a year and attracted nationwide support. Sōhyō provided national leadership and support for the strikers. Eventually the company prevailed and the miners lost their jobs. Click on PICTURES, below, to see striking miners and their wives, some with babies on their backs, at a strike rally.
Special Terms: restructuring  |  strike

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