The 5th LFTU/GUF/TUSSO Multinational Donor Coordination Meeting was held in Vientiane, Laos, on May 13–14 with the participation of 40 people from JILAF and other supporting organizations, Global Union Federations (GUF), and other organizations. This meeting is held every other year with the purpose of sharing knowledge and experiences among the participating organizations and facilitating even more effective assistance to groups receiving support.
The main agenda of this year’s meeting was (1) the present economic and labour situation in Laos and efforts of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU) since the fourth meeting in November 2014; (2) the priority issues, campaign policies, and activities of the LFTU from now on; and (3) coordination of support from organizations in other countries.
First of all, regarding its activities over the last two years, the LFTU reported that it had focused efforts on organization and organization expansion in the private sector and foreign companies operating in Laos; the conclusion of workplace labour agreements; health and safety in the workplace; the protection of informal-sector workers and migrant workers; human resource development; improvement of labour legislation and the minimum wage; measures against human trafficking and child labour; and the protection of women and transborder migrants. In addition, a detailed report of the LFTU’s activities conducted jointly with Trade Union International Solidarity Support Organizations (TUSSO) and Global Union Federations included references to the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network) and industrial relations project being conducted jointly with JILAF.
Next, regarding TUSSO’s activities in Laos from now on, there were discussions and coordination concerning each field, including labour legislation, human rights, training for LFTU officials and staff, health and safety, organization, and support for informal-sector workers. JILAF asserted its determination to continue to promote activities together with the LFTU and Lao government and management to improve the livelihoods of informal-sector workers, including expansion of the SGRA project to Champassak Province.
On the following day the TUSSO organizations held more specific discussions with the LFTU to coordinate their assistance and reported the results. Finally, Mr. Sharan Kumar KC, the Mekong regional manager of the Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA), gave a wrap-up of the meeting in which he mentioned the growing issue of informal-sector workers in Southeast and South Asia, stating that “JILAF’s SGRA project is a model project that brings together government, labour, and management and considers the work and employment of informal-sector workers.”
|05/13||Fri||LFTU/GUF/TUSSO Multinational Donor Coordination Meeting (day 1)|
|05/14||Sat||LFTU/GUF/TUSSO Multinational Donor Coordination Meeting (day 2)|