Toyota Motor workers did not demand a pay-scale hike this week as Japanese auto unions presented their annual wage demands amid serious deflation and severe employment conditions.

Toyota's union instead requested that an automatic annual pay hike be implemented, while a senior Toyota management official indicated that the automatic hike could be trimmed, Kyodo News said.

Among other auto unions, the Fuji Heavy Industries [Subaru] union demanded a monthly pay-scale hike of JPY1,000 (US$11.00)

Nissan Motor's union requested a monthly pay hike of JPY7,000, down JPY3,000 from its demand a year earlier. The company has shifted from an age-based pay scale to individual performance-based wages.

Before the auto unions launched wage negotiations with management for fiscal 2010 starting in April, the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions had already decided not to demand a unified pay-scale hike this year for the first time in five years.

The negotiations will reach a critical stage when major automakers respond to trade union requests on 17 March, Kyodo noted.