Toyota Motor Workers' Union
Amid the difficult economic conditions of post-World War II Japan, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers forced introduction of the Dodge Line, a fiscal and monetary tightening policy that placed financial strain on Toyota and pushed it to near the brink of bankruptcy. During this time, a reconstruction plan from financial authorities included a recommendation to cut excess staff. In response, Toyota proposed a 1,600-person staff reduction and a 10% wage cut to the Toyota Motor Workers' Union in April 1950. The proposal, however, violated a memorandum signed with the union in the previous year in which Toyota agreed to make no staff reductions, and a major dispute ensued which lasted for approximately two months. When it finally ended, the union agreed to a 1,500-person staff reduction and a 10% wage cut while all of Toyota's senior management from the president down agreed to resign, bringing the dispute to a temporary close. However, the conflict had serious after effects, with the union carrying out several strikes over the next three years.
Both Toyota and the union, managers and employees included, learned some important lessons from this painful experience of confrontation between labor and management. They realized that both sides share the same fate, that they need to maintain in-depth communication with each other, and that they should keep the promises they make and avoid making promises that they cannot keep. In February 1962, more than a decade after the big dispute, Toyota took a fresh step towards better labor-management relations when it worked with the union to put together a Joint Declaration of Labor and Management, a document which embodied their mutual readiness and strong determination to learn from their mistakes and to never allow such unfortunate events to happen again. With this declaration, Toyota has since built, maintained, and fostered good relationships with the union based on mutual trust.
In January 1996, on the 50th anniversary of the union's establishment, both parties reaffirmed their mutual trust and responsibility and, in the spirit of the Joint Declaration of Labor and Management, and with the aim of making significant advances as a global corporation, signed the Labor and Management Resolutions for the 21st Century.
Signing ceremony for Labor-Management Joint Declaration concluded in 1962
Labor and Management Resolutions for the 21st Century signed in January 1996
Diagram of Toyota Motor Workers' Union and its superior bodies
- As of September 2010