The Rising Voice of Japan’s Community Unions

  • Charles Weathers
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)

Civic Engagement in Community Unions

Japan’s major unions are the most cooperative in the democratic world. Their economic pragmatism has contributed to the nation’s rapid economic growth, but a high price has been paid in the neglect of work conditions as well as the interests of female, nonregular, and small-firm workers. Community unions challenge the cooperative approach of major unions by representing low-wage workers while emphasizing social justice and equality. They have enjoyed considerable success in helping individuals and small groups of workers, and occasionally scored larger successes in legal disputes, but they have not been able to generate a broad-based movement capable of maintaining effective campaigns for labor reform.

However, the deterioration of Japan’s employment conditions since 1990 has steadily altered the environment for labor activism. The number of ill-treated workers has risen steadily, bringing stronger desire for representation. The economic crisis that...


Social Movement Foreign Worker Union Official Civil Society Group Community Union 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Osaka City UniversityOsakaJapan

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