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Toshiba to adopt four-day workweek at its manufacturing plants

Toshiba Corp. plans to adopt a four-day workweek for manufacturing staff at its group factories across Japan as part of its efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, company officials said. After reaching an agreement with its labor union, the company hopes to launch the new system in June at the earliest, covering about 10,000 workers of its total domestic group workforce of 76,000, the officials said. What is significant about Japan’s situation is that it’s shared, to a greater or lesser extent, by most of the world’s advanced countries. Birth rates are depressed; economies are expanding slowly, if at all; and debt burdens are high and often growing.

You may recall, or not, that in the late 1980s, Japan was widely expected to overtake the United States as the world’s leading economy. Japanese firms also increasingly dominated old-line manufacturing industries (steel, autos) as well as new high-technologies (electronics).

Toshiba is reopening all of its offices and plants across Japan Thursday after they were shut down April 20 in response to the pandemic. However, employees other than manufacturing personnel will continue to work from home.

Rival company Canon Inc. is extending the lockdown at its head office, plants in the Kanto region and other locations until Sunday, company officials said. The suspension was to end Wednesday. More Info

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