Laos-Vietnam Team

JILAF invited 12 people from Laos and Vietnam to visit Japan from August 30 to September 12, 2015. Because there are so many differences between these two countries and Japan in terms of political setup (they are socialist countries) and the structure of trade unions, and because the participants from these two countries had similar interests, overall they participated actively in the two-week program.
At the lectures and places visited, the participants positively stated their opinions and asked questions, and they earnestly learned about industrial relations, the labour situation, and other issues in Japan. In particular, they asked many questions about such issues as the present state of nonregular workers in Japan and related problems and countermeasures, efforts to enforce compliance with laws and ordinances, and the realization of a gender-equal society.
At RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), they listened to a lecture about organization policy and other matters and reaffirmed the importance of worker solidarity. Since the number of informal-sector workers is increasing in both countries, the participants showed much interest in specific means of organizing such workers.
In the industrial federation visit, they visited Unyu Roren (Council of All Japan Transport Workers’ Unions), where they heard about its organizational structure and campaign policies and learned about issues that are peculiar to workers in the transportation industry, such as the exclusion of overtime work from application of laws and ordinances. Regarding overtime work, they received an explanation citing specific examples and thereby deepened their understanding of the mechanism of overtime work in Japan. In addition, after learning that the number of industrial disputes has been declining since the 1970s, the participants asked about measures to prevent disputes.
In discussions with RENGO Yamanashi, the participants received an explanation of efforts to organize workers and asked questions about the unionization rate in Yamanashi Prefecture; differences between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan regions, such as wage levels; and whether activities to realize gender equality are filtering down to regional branches of RENGO.
In the workplace visit, the participants visited the head office plant of Kito Corporation, which manufactures chain hoists, cranes, and other products. They observed manufacturing processes that give consideration to the health management and safety of workers, and in discussions attended by representatives of both labour and management, they heard that the plant implements many measures to train and protect workers, such as safety education, on the basis of constructive industrial relations.
The participants also visited the Hello Work Kofu public employment office, where they learned specifically about its structure and the mechanism of unemployment insurance, and the Yamanashi Prefecture Headquarters of Chuo Labour Bank, where they deepened their understanding of the mission and role of a financial institution for workers.
On the final day the participants made many comments along the lines of “I hope to continue exchange among Laos, Vietnam, and Japan and contribute to social and economic development by strengthening the labour movement.”

List of Organization That Cooperated in the Visit

Unyu RorenChuo Labour Bank Yamanashi Prefecture Headquarters
RENGO YamanashiHello Work Kofu
Kito Corporation Head Office PlantKito Labour Union
Yamanashi Prefectural Government Office

Many thanks to everyone.

Laos-Vietnam Team Participants

Lao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)

1.NameMr.Somphansay Kettavong
 Name of organizationLao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)
 PositionPresident of Sasvannakhet Province
 Union experience29

Lao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)

2.NameMs. Chanphen Maniseng
 Name of organizationLao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)
 PositionHead of Labour Protection Division
 Union experience19

Lao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)

3.NameMs. Alounseng Vichitvongsa
 Name of organizationLao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)
 PositionHead of Propaganda Division
 Union experience18

Lao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)

4.NameMr. Ounkham Khongchanthavong
 Name of organizationLao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)
 PositionHead of Propaganda Division
 Union experience19

Lao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)

5.NameMr. Somboun Litsamai
 Name of organizationLao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)
 PositionVice President of Vientiane Capital Trade Unions
 Union experience6

Lao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)

6.NameMs. Phonekeo Souvannaphoum
 Name of organizationLao Federation of Trade Unions(LFTU)
 PositionTechnical of International Department
 Union experience3

Vietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)

7.NameMs. Nguyen Thi Thien
 Name of organizationVietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)
 PositionPresident
 Union experience13

Vietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)

8.NameMs. Hoang Thi Thanh
 Name of organizationVietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)
 PositionDirector of International Department
 Union experience26

Vietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)

9.NameMs. Le Thi Hong Dao
 Name of organizationVietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)
 PositionDirector of International Department
 Union experience17

Vietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)

10.NameMs. Trinh Thanh Hang
 Name of organizationVietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)
 PositionDirector of Women Workers Department
 Union experience26

Vietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)

11.NameMr. Vi Van Nghia
 Name of organizationBac Kan Province Federation of Labor
 PositionPresident
 Union experience17

Vietnam General Confederation of Labour(VGCL)

12.NameMs. Huynh Nu Thu Ha
 Name of organizationGia Lai Province Federation of Labor
 PositionPresident
 Union experience7

Photos of Participants

Group discussions

Visit to Unyu Roren

Visit to the Chuo Labour Bank Yamanashi Prefecture Headquarters

Visit to the Kito Corporation Head Office Plant

Discussions attended by labour and management representatives

Visit to Hello Work Kofu

Discussions with senior officials of RENGO Yamanashi

Visit to the Yamanashi Prefectural Government Office

Visit to Zenrosai Kyokai (National Association for Workers’ Welfare and Cooperative Insurance)