Labor Union and Employee Benefits

Policy and Basic Concept

ITOCHU Corporation hopes to achieve an environment in which employees can leverage their individual talents and concentrate on their work without worry. To this end, we maintain a system of rich employee benefits and employee welfare facilities. Our original employee welfare measures include a morning-focused work style, health management, support for living with cancer and dress-down day. These have met with praise both inside and outside the company, and have contributed to increased employee motivation.

  • See "Employee Benefits" for details on the primary employee benefits that have been introduced and expanded in recent years (for both full-time and part-time employees).

Targets

  • We are aiming for a 70% or higher rate of positive responses to the "employee engagement" items on our engagement survey.
  • FYE 2021: improve health indices (such as BMI) compared to FYE 2017.
  • FYE 2021: 0% job separation rate due to cancer or long-term illness.
  • FYE 2021: use stress checks to keep rate of high stress individuals below 5%.

Structures and Systems

ITOCHU Corporation has had a labor union since its founding. The objective of the Labor Union is to improve labor conditions and other economic concerns of its members. The Labor Union carries out all required operations to fulfill this objective.
(Article 3, Rules of the ITOCHU Labor Union)

  • Headquarters: General meeting of delegates and officers at headquarters (Secretariat: Liaison for labor management negotiations consisting of the president and secretary general)
  • Branch: Seven branches (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku and Kyushu)
[Fig]

The company is prohibited from taking any of the following actions:

  1. Providing disadvantageous treatment to a worker because the worker is a union member, or on similar grounds
    Example: Discharging or transferring a worker because the worker has gone on strike as a union member, or on similar grounds
  2. Refusing to bargain collectively without justifiable cause
    Example: Refusing to come to the bargaining table or sending someone without authority as a representative to attend a collective bargaining session as a representative
  3. Interfering with or providing financial assistance for the organization or operation of a labor union
    Example: Interfering with or interrupting the union’s events or providing financial support for union operational expenses
  4. Providing disadvantageous treatment, such as dismissal, to a worker in response to an allegation made by the worker to the Labor Relations Commission
    Example: Providing treatment, such as dismissal or wage reduction, to a worker in response to an allegation made by the worker to the Labor Relations Commission, or to a similar action by the worker
[Fig]
Ratio of ITOCHU Labor Union members as of April 1, 2018
Efforts Together With ITOCHU Labor Union in FYE 2018
April 2017 to March 2018 (monthly) Health Committee
June-17 Account settlement meeting
August-17 CFO management meeting
October-17 Energy & Chemicals Company management meeting
December-17 Machinery Company management meeting
August and December 2017, January 2018 Labor-management committee on time management
March-18 Management meeting with the President
Activities by the Headquarters of the Labor Union in FYE 2018
April and May 2017 General Meeting of Delegates
June-17 Meeting attended by three top-ranking officers from each branch
September-17 General Meeting of Delegates
October-17 Sports Day
November-17 Lecture by a prominent person
February-18 General Meeting of Delegates
March-18
  • Meeting attended by three top-ranking officers from each branch
  • Labor Union event at Tokyo Disneyland
  • dialog with members of other companies
[Photo]

Shion Shinohara

President,
ITOCHU Labor Union

Comments from the ITOCHU Labor Union President

The ITOCHU Labor Union works under the following Philosophy, Vision, and Action Guidelines.

  1. Philosophy: Our philosophy is "Moving on Together - Working together actively with enthusiasm and motivation." With this in mind, we aim to create a work environment that allows employees with diverse characteristics, values and circumstances to remain motivated to actively and enthusiastically work together, and which allows each individual to achieve their best performance.
  2. Vision: We aim to achieve a "virtuous cycle of corporate management" by improving labor conditions and the economic status of members. This "virtuous cycle of corporate management" describes a positive cycle of: improved work environment → active participation by employees → improved company performance → improved employee treatment → improved morale → improved work environment, and so on.
  3. Action Guidelines: The entire union (members, worksite committee members, liaison officers, delegates, branch officers and headquarters officers) make concerted efforts based on the three key concepts of "Stay ahead," "Speak up," and "Be reliable."
    • Stay ahead: Always think one step ahead and work on something new. Think and move forward together.
    • Speak up: Each member should take the initiative to speak up.
    • Be reliable: Build an organization that can be depended on and meets expectations.

We will go one step further when engaging in activities with, negotiating with and making proposals to the company. We aim for the kind of treatment and work environment appropriate for a leading trading company.

Dialogs with the Labor Union

ITOCHU Corporation discusses a wide range of issues with the ITOCHU Labor Union in order to achieve our corporate mission of being "Committed to the Global Good." In FYE 2018, we held five meetings, including management meetings with the President, Division Companies and Administrative Headquarters. Recurrent, active discussion between labor and management makes both cognizant of the challenges facing the company and keeps them on the same page. This builds a healthy relationship that enables them to consider and implement measures for improvement.

Dialogs with the President

ITOCHU Corporation takes the initiative to offer employees opportunities for two-way dialog with the president. In FYE 2017, the president visited six domestic branch offices to hold dialogs. These branches usually have limited opportunity for direct communication with the president. In addition to these domestic meetings, the president also meets for dialogs with local employees and staff on overseas assignment in each country when he visits our overseas blocs. In FYE 2018, he held meetings at locations in the UK, Italy, France, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, and the United States. During these discussions, the president shared the company's management policies and his passion for their realization directly with employees. Employees, in turn, expressed their opinions to the president and asked questions directly. The meetings proved to be extremely valuable in deepening two-way communication. These dialogs touch on everything from management policies to personal topics and always develop a very spirited atmosphere.

Employee Benefits

ITOCHU Corporation employs a variety of welfare facilities and schemes to stimulate communication between employees and provide opportunities for exchange. Stimulating communication helps foster a sense of belonging and job satisfaction in individual employees. It also helps to invigorate the organization as a whole.

Employee Cafeteria

The employee cafeteria at the Tokyo Headquarters underwent large-scale renovations in May 2013 that transformed it into a brighter and a more comfortable meeting place. Since then we have taken further steps to make the cafeteria a more attractive space for employees. These include introducing a "Wellness Cafeteria" menu created under the supervision of Kagawa Nutrition University* which aims to help employees improve their health. We have also revised our menus and altered the layout of the room based on employee feedback. Nearly 1,600 people use the employee cafeteria every day.
This special cafeteria can also be used to share meals with customers, and operates as a pub at night. It has a regular Happy Hour, during which alcoholic beverages are available for free or at a discount. This boosts communication between people from both inside and outside the company. In 2017, the menu was fully revised and the cafeteria underwent major renovations once again. This has made it a great place for employees to interact over meals.

  • Kagawa Nutrition University is a pioneering force in nutrition education. The menu it helped create focuses on daily specials with healthy dishes that fulfill different nutritional requirements. These include an energy value of around 600 kcal, salt content of 3 g or less, and vegetable servings of 140 g or more.
  • Can be used by both full-time and part-time employees

"SOGO-KAI" Associations

"SOGO-KAI" associations are groups where fellow employees can assemble to enjoy the same sports or cultural activities. Spreading out from Tokyo and Osaka, there are more than forty such associations active within the company nationwide. They boast a combined membership of more than 800 employees. The associations are not limited to current ITOCHU Corporation employees. Many former employees and Group company employees also take part. These associations use sports and cultural activities to promote exchange and communication across different generations and organizations.

  • Both full-time and part-time employees can join