« 福祉の財源―先送りはもう許されぬ | トップページ | 与党税制大綱 減税だけで不安は消えぬ »

2008年12月12日 (金)

ソニー人員削減―日本型経営の意地見せよ

2008/12/12

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 11(IHT/Asahi: December 12,2008)

EDITORIAL: Job cuts at Sony

ソニー人員削減―日本型経営の意地見せよ

The waves of the global recession stemming from the U.S. financial crisis have reached Japanese shores.

 米国発の金融危機による世界的な不況の大波が、日本を代表する企業の人員削減にまで及んできた。 

Sony Corp. has announced plans for the greatest work force reduction among domestic companies--more than 16,000 jobs over a period of slightly over a year.

The cuts will affect 8,000 full-time employees, or 5 percent of the electronics giant's 160,000 full-time employees at its head office and factories here and overseas. More than 8,000 nonregular employees, including dispatch and contract workers, will also lose their jobs at Sony.

 ソニーが日本企業としては最大規模の人員削減を発表した。本社や国内外の工場で働く正規社員16万人のうち5%にあたる8千人、派遣や請負の非正規労働者8千人以上の計1万6千人以上を1年余りの間に減らすという。 

Sony and other domestic companies are facing the triple problem of a global downturn in consumption, the rising yen and falling stock prices. We can understand, to some extent, that Sony is trying to restructure itself to survive. However, given Sony's influence, we fear its move could trigger job cuts across the entire industry.

 世界的な消費悪化、円高、株安と経営環境はいわば三重苦の状態にある。ソニーが生き残りをかけてリストラに取り組もうとするのもわからないではない。 

 しかし影響力の大きい企業だけに、産業界全体の人員削減を誘発することがないかと心配だ。

It is still fresh in our minds that Sony's forecast for a significant drop in earnings caused the benchmark Nikkei 225 index to nose-dive five years ago. The situation gave rise to the term "Sony shock." This time, too, the job cuts could trigger the employment version of a Sony shock.

5年前、同社の大幅減益見通しが日経平均株価を急落させ「ソニーショック」と言われたことは記憶に新しい。今度も雇用版ソニーショックとなりかねない事態だ。 

Toyota Motor Corp. also plans to slash 3,000 jobs, mostly seasonal workers. Including Toyota, 12 major domestic automakers plan to let go more than 10,000 workers.

 トヨタ自動車も期間従業員など3千人を減らす方針だ。それを含め自動車大手12社の削減計画は合計1万人を超える。

Cutbacks by such industries as automobile and electronics that employ a large number of people, including those who work for related industries, could trigger a chain reaction of job cuts on a major scale.

自動車や電機などすそ野の広い産業による人減らしの動きはすさまじい雇用悪化の連鎖を呼びかねない。 

In the last few years, the recovery of the nation's businesses has been supported by exports to the United States and newly emerging markets, such as China. Since demand is shrinking in those markets, it is not unreasonable for industries to brace themselves for a further deterioration of the economy.

 この数年、日本企業の業績回復は、米国市場や中国など新興国市場への輸出に支えられてきた。その支えを失いつつあるだけに、産業界が今後のさらなる景気悪化に備えて身構えるのも無理はない。 

The management decisions of the individual companies may be reasonable. But if the move to cut jobs spreads across all industries, the streets would be flooded with jobless people. Insecurities over employment would cool consumption and cause Japan's economy to sink even further.

 ただ、個々の企業の経営判断が合理的であっても、経済界が一斉に人減らしを始めれば、街には失業者があふれる。雇用不安から消費は萎縮(いしゅく)し、日本の景気はますます悪化する。 

There are also signs that companies are trying to use the global recession as an excuse to hastily shut down unprofitable sections. It is natural that Sony's announcement prompted Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura to say, "While adjusting employment is a means of management, companies must not abuse the practice."

 世界同時不況にかこつけて、この際、不振事業を片づけてしまおうという企業の思惑もちらつく。ソニーの発表を受けて、河村官房長官が「雇用調整は一つの経営手段だが、乱用は困る」と注文をつけたのは当然である。 

Ten years ago, when Toyota was downgraded by a U.S. credit rating agency on grounds "the maintenance of lifetime employment will weaken its competitiveness," the automaker strongly objected, and the situation led to controversy.

 10年前、米格付け会社から「終身雇用の維持が競争力を弱める」として格下げされたトヨタが猛反発し、大論争になったことがあった。

Five years later, the credit rating agency re-evaluated Toyota's management style, including lifetime employment, and the automaker recovered its top rating.

結局、5年後に終身雇用を含めてトヨタ経営が再評価され、最高格付けに戻った。 

Employment is not a "regulating valve" of company management. Therefore, companies must refrain from thoughtlessly cutting jobs. Protecting employment as a corporate social responsibility used to be a good tradition of "Japanese-style management."

 雇用は経営の「調整弁」ではない。だから人員削減に安易に乗り出さない。そういう社会的責任にこだわるのが「日本型経営」の良き伝統だった。 

Of course, if companies' performances decline and they go belly-up, there would be no jobs. Still, there must be things that employers can do before slashing their work forces.

 企業も業績が悪化してつぶれてしまっては元も子もない。だが雇用に手をつける前にやるべきこと、挑むべきことがあるはずだ。 

Sony made its name by putting pioneering products on the market. We urge it to once again develop new products and business areas to create jobs. Instead of just protecting jobs, employers must create new ones. This new Japanese-style management is needed.

 かつて先駆的な製品を世に送り出してきたソニーには、新製品の開発や新分野の開拓によって新たな雇用を生み出す努力をしてほしい。雇用を守るだけでなく、創(つく)り出す。そういう新・日本型経営が必要だ。 

Now is the time for Japanese employers to show their mettle.

 日本の経営者たち、今こそ意地の見せどころだ。

|

« 福祉の財源―先送りはもう許されぬ | トップページ | 与党税制大綱 減税だけで不安は消えぬ »

04-英字新聞(朝日2)」カテゴリの記事

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)




« 福祉の財源―先送りはもう許されぬ | トップページ | 与党税制大綱 減税だけで不安は消えぬ »