Name : Hitoshi Takezume
1991 Graduated from Faculty of Economy, Keio University
1991 Entered Tokyo Electric Power Company, Ltd.
1998 Chief, Electricity Demand Survey Division
2001 Secretary General, HONTEN Branch, Tokyo Electric Power Union
2003 Section Chief, Industry Policy Division, Federation of Electric Power Related Industry Workers Unions of Japan
2005 First Secretary, Economic Division, Japan Embassy in Thailand
2008 Assistant Director, Welfare Policy Division, Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO)
JUTC-RENGO (連合), for
Japanese Trade Union Confederation
(日本労働組合総連合会, Nihon Rōdōkumiai Sōrengōkai)
Membership 6.8 million
Local Organizations 47
The National Center
* Countries with strong national centers have strong trade unions!
Japanese trade union organizations have a three-tier hierarchical structure: enterprise-based unions, industrial federations, and the national center at the top. There is also a wide-ranging network, with local organizations, called “Local RENGOs,” set up in all of Japan’s prefectures.
The enterprise-based unions utilize negotiations and labor-management consultations in the workplace to improve working conditions, to monitor corporate activities, and to provide services to their members.
The industrial federations for their part are composed of enterprise-based unions in the same industry. Their member unions exchange information on common working conditions in the industry, discuss industrial policies and other problems, and strive to rectify these industry-specific problems.
RENGO itself is a national center, made up of these industrial federations. From the standpoint of "defending the employment and livelihoods of all working people,” including of course RENGO union members, we work with the national government and employers’ organizations on issues such as labor standards, tax systems and social security, which cannot be settled at the industry or local level.
Further, the 47 Local RENGOs throughout the country serve as a foothold for working people in their local communities. They address a broad range of tasks, including consultation activities on issues of labor and employment. They also provide support for organizing efforts.
By bringing together the power of individual trade unions, the national center is able to raise the level of working conditions and living standards for all workers. Successes in these areas by the national center create, in turn, trust toward trade unions at the workplace level, contributing to strengthening enterprise-based unions and their industrial federations. In the past, Japan had several divided national centers, but efforts to enhance the power of trade unions resulted into the formation in 1989 of a unified national center, Japanese Trade Union Confederation, or RENGO.