TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp, the world's biggest automaker, will accept a union demand for a rise in wages and bonus payments in full, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, as Japan steps up calls for businesses to hike pay.
As one of Japan's biggest employers, Toyota has long served as a bellwether of the spring labour talks, which are in full swing at major companies. Many are expected to conclude swiftly as the government seeks inflation-beating wage hikes to ease burdens on consumers.
The base salary increase being sought was the highest in the past 20 years, the union federation representing 357,000 Toyota group workers has said, though it had not detailed the size of the rise.
A deal was struck after the first round of negotiations, according to the people, who were not authorised to speak publicly.
The Asahi newspaper, which first reported the agreement, said the union had also sought one-off bonus payments worth 6.7 months of wages.
"We are aware that the labour-management talks have concluded, but we are unable to provide information on the content of the negotiations at this moment," a Toyota spokesperson told Reuters.
The All Toyota Workers' Union is set to hold a media briefing later on Wednesday.
The expected pay agreement comes as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stepped up calls on business leaders to accelerate wage increases, warning of a return to stagflation if pay rises fall short of the rapid increase in prices.
"We will boost consumption and expand domestic demand by promoting efforts toward structural wage increases," Kishida said at a lower house budget committee session on Wednesday.
Fast Retailing Co Ltd, which owns clothing giant Uniqlo, last month said it would boost pay by up to 40%, fuelling expectations big manufacturers would offer more at annual wage talks with unions this spring.
Video game maker Nintendo Co Ltd said earlier this month that it planned to lift workers' base pay by 10%, despite trimming its full-year profit forecast.
(Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Eimi Yamamitsu; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Bradley Perrett and Jamie Freed)