By David Luhman
Labor unions in Japan
As far as unionization goes, unions are generally much less troublesome than in the United States. Union membership has been declining in Japan. In 1975, 34% of all employees were unionized, but in 1987 only 28% were.
Also, unions are formed along corporate and not industry lines. For example, the United Auto Workers union represents workers at Ford, GM and Chrysler. In Japan, Toyota has only a company union. Labor federations in Japan do exist, but they are very loosely tied together. Because of the corporate nature of unions, and because of generally good labor-management relations, when a short strike does occur, it is usually coordinated between management and labor to minimize negative effects to the company.