Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp. is slashing its temporary workers in Japan to zero later this year to cut costs and production amid a global slump, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Toyota said nothing has been decided.
The maker of the Lexus luxury car and Prius hybrid said last month that its temporary work force in Japan will be reduced from 6,000 to about 3,000 by March.
Japanese rivals Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have already said their Japanese temporary workers will be gone over the next few months.
Terminating contracts for temporary workers is the easiest way in Japan to lay off workers because regular workers called “seishain,” or “proper company employees,” are protected at major companies with lifetime employment.
Honda’s decision, announced last week, to cut 3,100 jobs will slash to zero the number of temporary workers at its Japan plants by the end of April.
Nissan is also reducing its temporary work force to zero by the end of March from some 2,000 people last year.
The use of temporary workers was illegal in Japan until 2004, but regulations have been gradually relaxed.
In recent years, Japan’s manufacturers increasingly relied on temporary workers and staff from referral agencies to adjust quickly to demand fluctuations, while cutting costs amid intensifying global competition.
The company, which is projecting its first operating loss in 70 years for the fiscal year ending 31 March, has said it will idle production at all 12 of its Japan plants for 11 days over February and March as global sales sink.