Report on November meeting (Nov, 9, 2017)                              Y. Minami


Subject: Work Style Reform Bill


Work-style reform bill, which is currently discussed in the Diet, is widely known, and by some journalists this labor reform is just a similar catch phrase to “Society of Active Hundred Million People (Ichioku Soukatuyaku Syakai)”, that is another Abe Administration’s pursuing theme. However, it is obvious that it appears to emerge some labor related issues or incidents

Then, the members of E-News & Songs who have attended today’s session made an essential approach to these issues by understanding labor value under evolving social environments and their background stories.


Summary of discussion

“Equal work, equal pay” principle should be regarded as the best goal in any society and age, however equal work is not always easy to define, For instance, we, in our contemporary societies, have various lines of labor and works in such fields as production, service, R & D, marketing and etc., and we also have various level of individual skill or performance in each work.  In reality, there isn’t any equal work in our societies except very limited or well segmented labor markets.  This difficulty has been reflected even in the Biography of Economic Theories relating to Labor Value, commencing from classical economics backing to 18th century through to modern economics.


But, at the same time we are facing many other fundamental issues, such as wage gap between regular and irregular workers, and excessive overtime work regardless of adequately paid or not paid. These issues related to human morality as well as health, that should be restructured or resolved in someway or other regardless of the total scheme of Labor Reform.


Among many other part of discussions made today, there were opinions such that future AI and robotics technology may change these labor issues as already seen in some successful companies whose strategy have been well accepted even by their workers; thereby reformation of their working condition and eventually business competitiveness are more likely well balanced, and so on.


At the end, the leader concluded that for Labor Reform it is quite important to lay out a well-accepted goal, and under such target, fundamental issues such as overtime work and wage gap should be preferentially solved: For this approach adequate segmentation of our labor market that reflects to current socioeconomic structures will be essentially required.