1. THE FOOD-RENGO IS THE LARGEST INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION FOR TRADE UNIONS IN FOOD AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES IN JAPAN.
- The Food-Rengo, the largest industrial trade union organization in food and allied industries in Japan, was established on 19 November 2002, with the purpose of strengthening ability to make industrial policies and to develop the union movement in food and allied industries. The establishment of the Food-Rengo was brought through a merger of Shokuhin-Rengo (Japan Federation of Foods and Tobacco Workers’Unions which was formed in 1995 through a merger of Shokuhin-Roren, Zen-Shokuhin-Domei and Zen-Tobacco) and Shokuhin-Rokyo (Japan Food Industry Workers’Unions Council, formed in 1989).
- 290 local-unions are affiliated to the Food-Rengo with its membership of 105,000.
- The national headquarters of the Food-Rengo is located at 5-26-30 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
2. MAJOR POLICIES IN OUR ACTIVITIES
The major policies which the Food-Rengo aims to realize are as follows:
(1) Expanding the Federation and Strengthening its Role as an Industrial Union
We aim to expand the Federation by organizing non-affiliated unions and unorganized workers and strengthen the organizational structures so as to truly become the largest and most representative industrial organization for food workers in Japan.
(2) Demands to Companies
Our affiliated unions demand the respective companies to;
- maintain and improve living standards of the workers by wage increases and stable bonus systems;
- shorten working hours to the total of less than 1,800 hours a year;
- secure employment until the age of 65;
- increase the retirement lump sum payment;
- achieve safe and comfortable working conditions for workers through proper personnel arrangement, lessening workload, increasing compensations for labor accident, and improving labor safety measures and welfare systems;
- stop discrimination against women workers in terms of employment, payment and education to realizing gender equality.
(3) Demands for Industrial Policies
We demand the government to adopt policies which can help to make steady and sustainable developments of food and allied industries and to secure employment of food workers.
(4) Demands for Social Policies
We demand the government to adopt policies which will improve living standards of workers and people in the fields of economy and industries in general, as well as gender equality, welfare and social security system, land and housing, transport system, education, and government administrations. Also, those policies should ensure natural resources and energy, employment, and small businesses.
(5) Enhancement of Federation’s Mutual Insurance Schemes
We have established the Mutual Insurance Schemes for life, fire and car accidents as well as the Pension Scheme for the members in order to stabilize their livelihood by supporting each other.
(6) Promotion of International Solidarity
We promote international solidarity in cooperation with trade unions in other countries through the International Trade Union Confederation ( ITUC ) and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF).
(7) Realization of Policies for the People and Promotion of Campaigns for Democracy and Peace.
We, as trade unions actively play a responsible role in our society by supporting policies made truly for the people which will promote democracy and peace.
3. THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES OF THE FOOD-RENGO
The organizational structure of the Food-Rengo is as follows;
(1) Annual Constitutional Convention
The Annual Constitutional Convention is the supreme legislative body of the Food-Rengo and consists of the Executive Committee Board members and delegates. The convention, which is held in September each year, reviews reports on activities and the financial report for the previous year, and examines and decides policies and the budget for the coming year. Also, the convention elects the Executive Board members and other officers every two years.
(2) Central Committee
The Central Committee is the second supreme legislative body after the convention. It consists of the Executive Board members and Central Committee members and held in January each year. The Central Committee examines and decides policies for the “Spring Offensive for a Better living” as well as for other activities.
(1) Central Executive Committee Board
The Central Executive Committee Board consists of President, Deputy President, Vice Presidents, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, and Central Executive Board members. It is held once a month to discuss practical measures to implement the policies adopted by the convention and the central committee.
The Central Executive Committee Board governs the following Sub-Committees in order for the Food-Rengo to make and promote its policies. These are Social/Industrial Policy, Labor Policy, Organization, International Affairs and Gender Equality Committee.
(3) The Secretariat Bureau
The Central Executive Board also governs the secretariat bureau. The Secretariat Bureau consists of four specialized departments: i.e. General Affairs Department, Industrial Policy Department, Labor Policy Department, and Organizing Department which includes a team for expanding organizing efforts. Each department implements day-to-day activities decided by the Central Executive Committee Board.
The Food Rengo has two supplementary bodies in terms of sub-industries and regions. These bodies take their own activities in accordance with decisions made by the legislative bodies.
(1) Sub-Industrial Groups
Sub-Industrial Group structure consists of the following 13 sub-groups and all affiliates are categorized according to their types of businesses. Affiliates in each sub-groups exchange views and information of their common interest and undertake joint efforts.
ham and sausages, fresh meat, etc.
dairy products, margarine, ice cream, etc.
Seafood and Frozen Food group
processed seafood, frozen food, canned food, preserved food, etc.
Shoyu and Miso group
Japanese traditional seasoning - shoyu (soy sauce), miso (bean paste), tsuyu (soup in which to dip noodles), etc.
Oil, Fat and Seasoning group
cooking oil, fat, some seasonings, etc.
refined sugar, sugar beets/canes refining, special refined sugar products, etc.
flour, prepared mix, spaghetti, macaroni, feed, etc.
bread, confectioneries, etc.
confectioneries, chewing gum, chocolate, ice cream, etc.
Brewery and Beverage group: beer, soft drinks, liquor, etc.
“sake” (Japanese rice wine), “shochu” (distilled drinks), wine, etc.
Tobacco and Tobacco-Related Products group
tobacco, agribusiness products, food, etc.
Food Distribution group
wholesale of foods, food additives, canned food, processed food, restaurant, etc.
(2) Regional Committee
Each Regional Committee consists of affiliated unions and their branch offices in each prefecture. Affiliates exchange information and views, take solidarity actions under the guidance from the officers of the regional committee, and examine local and general issues.
4. Links and Affiliations
The Food-Rengo is affiliated to the following organizations:
the Rengo (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), a Japanese national trade union center
Global level (GUF)
the IUF (International Union of Food Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations).