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No.5 (2009/10/30)
The 11th Convention Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of RENGO
RENGO, a national center of Japan, held its 11th Convention on October 8-9 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of RENGO, with about 2,500 people, including members and observers, in attendance.

A scene from the Convention
Speech by President Takagi
Speech by Prime Minister Hatoyama
Speech by Health, Labor, and Welfare Minister Nagatsuma
Declaration of resolve by new President Koga
Speech by new General Secretary Nagumo
Uniting all participants

First, on behalf of RENGO headquarters, President Takagi stated, "Twenty years ago, in 1989, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation was established, uniting the public and private sectors. Since then, over the last 20 years, Japan's society and economy have changed significantly, and we have been forced into activities under severe circumstances. However, trade unions are always public organs of society, and they are indispensable for the people. Society expects trade unions (1) to be the protectors of human dignity and labor dignity; (2) to stabilize the living of working citizens and improve their rights; (3) to take a leading role in the sound and democratic development of Japanese society; (4) to work for peace; and so on. From these various points of view, trade unions are expected to strengthen their roles as social entities. RENGO must continue its efforts to meet these expectations."

Next, in a guest speech, Prime Minister Hatoyama strongly appealed, "Thanks to RENGO's support, I can greet you today as the prime minister. I heartily thank you. To change Japanese politics, the administration must steadily carry out its policy agreement with RENGO. I want to further strengthen our solidarity and create a new politics that can reflect people's feelings in policies."

This was followed by speeches by guests: representing the government was Health, Labor, and Welfare Minister Nagatsuma; representing political parties were Democratic Party of Japan Acting Secretary General Koshiishi, Social Democratic Party Leader Fukushima, and People's New Party Vice President Kamei; and guests from overseas were Bro.Rajasekaran, President of ITUC-AP, Bro. John Evans, General Secretary of OECD-TUAC, Ms.Sachiko Yamamoto Regional Director of ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and Bro. Maung Maung, General Secretary of Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB).Video messages came from Bro. Guy Ryder, General Secretary of ITUC, and Bro. Juan Somavia , Director-General of ILO , were showed.

After that, activity reports were made, including (1) the general activity report, (2) the 2007-2009 organization expansion report, and (3) the financial report. They were unanimously approved.

In the proceedings, "Action Policies 2010-2011" were proposed, with emphasis on the following major challenges: (1) promoting a trade union movement with social impact by expanding trade union organizations, reconstructing collective labor-management relations, and promoting solidarity activities; (2) raising the minimum standard of working conditions of non-regular workers, organizing them, and promoting a social movement; (3) establishing policies and systems toward the construction of a safe and secure society based on fairness and solidarity; (4) redressing social disparities of working conditions, improving the safety net, and establishing work rules; (5) strengthening equal participation towards the realization of gender equality and equal treatment for men and women; (6) strengthening political activities for the realization of the policies advocated by RENGO; and (7) strengthening international activities towards the realization of fair and sustainable globalization.

In a question-and-answer session, opinions and requests were raised about (1) strengthening Local RENGOs by further promoting "the movement with visible faces rooted in the local community"; (2) strengthening activities with the highest priority given to organizing non-regular workers; (3) strengthening policy consultation and cooperation with the new administration towards the realization of the policies and systems advocated by RENGO; and so on. Answers to these questions by RENGO headquarters were confirmed, and all bills were decided unanimously.

In the election of officials, President Koga (the Japanese Electrical, Electronic, and Information Union), General Secretary Nagumo (the Federation of Electric Power Related Industry Workers' Unions of Japan), and other members of the new leadership were elected. President Takagi finished his two terms of four years and retired, but he continues serving as the President of the Japan International Labour Foundation (JILAF).

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