Labor Union

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.

ITOCHU has established a labor union with which we hold constructive discussions to improve the working conditions as well as economic status of its constituents.

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
  • Branch: Four branches (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Tohoku)

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
Ratio of ITOCHU Labor Union Members as of April 1, 2021
Initiatives Together With ITOCHU Labor Union in FYE 2021
April 2020 to March 2021 (Monthly) Health Committee
June 2020 Account settlement meeting
September 2020, March 2021 Labor-management committee
November 2020 Management meeting with the President and COO
January 2021 Management meeting with the Division Company Presidents
Activities by the Headquarters of the Labor Union in FYE 2021
April 2020 to March 2021 (Twice a Week) General Meeting of Officers
April, June and November 2020 General Meeting of Delegates
December 2020 Meeting attended by three top-ranking officers from each branch
January to March 2021 Sent Japanese ingredient sets to members working overseas
August 2020 to March 2021 Activities by the Headquarters Advisory Committee (side work and clerical work)

Masato Ikehata

ITOCHU Labor Union

Comments from the ITOCHU Labor Union President

My name is Masato Ikehata. I joined ITOCHU in 2003 and I will continue to serve as the ITOCHU Labor Union President in FYE 2022 following on from last year. The global economy stagnated due to the spread of COVID-19 around the world in FYE 2021. There has also been a huge impact on the trading company industry.

Daily lives have been changing in a major way (e.g., self-restraint on going out and telecommuting). Inevitably, changes in work styles are required. Under such circumstances, I imagine the responsibilities and roles that should be performed by the ITOCHU Labor Union will also change. I, together with all the officers at the headquarters, will perform my duties with a sense of crisis.

The missions, action guidelines and vision of the labor union is as below.

  • Missions of the Union (= the Meaning of the Existence of the Union and the Values at the Basis of Our Activities):
    "To protect our members" and "To build a good company"
  • Action Guidelines (= the Key Phrases We Value in Our Daily Work):
    • Stay Ahead: Proactively adopt advanced concepts and work styles to ensure the organization constantly strengthens
    • Engage in Dialog: Conduct proposal-based and joint development-based activities while emphasizing dialogue with union members and management
    • Be Reliable: Build a relationship of trust with union members and use that as the basis to perform activities with a sense of unity
  • Vision (= Ideal Future State):
    We are aiming to achieve a virtuous cycle of corporate management by improving the labor environment and the economic status of our members.
    ((1) An improvement in the labor environment thanks to the activities of the union accelerates the virtuous cycle of (2) active participation by union members, (3) improved company performance, (4) improved employee treatment, (5) improved morale and then back to (2) again)

We will aim to formulate a mid-term activity plan for 2030 based on the challenges faced by the ITOCHU Labor Union in FYE 2022. We will rebrand the union and strengthen our organizational structure and financial constitution through dialog with union members and delegates representing workplaces.

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 "Sampo-yoshi." We held a total of six sessions of management meetings with the President and COO, account settlement meetings with the CFO, management meetings with the Division Company President, and other labor-management committee meetings in FYE 2021. 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 proactively establishes opportunities for the President and employees to engage in direct two-way dialogue. It was difficult to bring people together like in a normal year due to COVID-19 in FYE 2021. Therefore, the President utilized a web conferencing system to proactively engage in dialog with Japanese and overseas branches, local subsidiaries and group companies where opportunities for dialogue with the President are usually limited. The President personally conveyed the management policy and his passion toward the realization of that directly to employees in these dialogue meetings. At the same time, the employees were also able to directly express their own opinions and ask questions to the President. Therefore, these were valuable opportunities to deepen two-way communication. The content of these meetings is wide-ranging - even including private matters in addition to the management policy. Accordingly, these are always extremely lively meetings.

Dialogs with the Division Company President

ITOCHU proactively establishes opportunities for the company president and corporate officers to engage in dialogue with employees. Normally, all the employees under the control of an organization are gathered together once every half a year. The top management of that organization then speaks in their own words about the company-wide management policy, organization targets and strategies toward target achievement. It is possible for employees to give their opinions and ask questions at these dialogue meetings. These are valuable opportunities for all employees, including the top management, to think about what we should personally do to further grow the organizations to which we belong.