JILAF, together with the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-AP) and the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute (OTCI), held the 9th Youth Leadership Course for eight days from July 22 (Friday) to 29 (Friday) in Singapore.
JILAF has been holding this course together with the ITUC-AP and the OTCI since 1992 with the aim of fostering young trade union leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s course, the 25th time for it to be held in total, was attended by 39 people (including 23 women) from 21 countries. Executive Director Takao Yasunaga and Secretary General Masayuki Shioda participated from JILAF.
At the opening ceremony on the first day, addresses were made on behalf of the organizers by JILAF Secretary General Shioda and ITUC-AP General Secretary Noriyuki Suzuki. Then, during the eight-day program, JILAF Secretary General Shioda delivered lectures on July 23 on “Social and Economic Development and the Social Role of the Labour Movement” and “Industrial Relations in Japan.”
First of all, in the lecture on the theme of “Social and Economic Development and the Social Role of the Labour Movement,” JILAF Secretary General Shioda explained about, among other things, changes in the situation surrounding workers brought about by globalization, the present condition and outlook of Asian economies, and the role of trade unions.
In the lecture on the theme of “Industrial Relations in Japan,” he spoke about (1) the history of the Japanese labour movement after World War II and the transformation of campaign policy (the abandonment of confrontation for confrontation’s sake); (2) macroeconomic growth and improving the lives and working conditions of trade union members; (3) the productivity improvement movement; (4) the labour-management consultation system and collective bargaining, the building of constructive industrial relations, and employment stability; and (5) the importance of establishing a trade union financial base. In response, the participants, while comparing industrial relations in Japan and their own countries, deepened their awareness of the usefulness of constructive industrial relations.
In the final part of the course, JILAF Executive Director Yasunaga delivered a lecture on the theme of “Toward the Building of Constructive Industrial Relations,” in which, while explaining such topics as the origins of Japanese trade unions, the present state of trade unions in Japan, and the functions and role of trade unions in Japan, he shared his specific experiences of the building of constructive industrial relations.
Many participants expressed the view that as industrial relations become increasingly complex as a result of globalization, the building of Japanese-style industrial relations would be beneficial for both labour and management. The participants also asked questions about such issues as (1) the coexistence of confrontational industrial relations and cooperative industrial relations (collective bargaining and advance labour-management consultations), (2) the effective balance of collective bargaining and labour-management consultations, (3) the building of relations with employers who have contempt and disdain for trade unions, and (4) examples of success in organizing young and nonregular workers. JILAF Executive Director Yasunaga gave pertinent replies to these questions.
As well as the lectures from JILAF, the participants heard various lectures from the ITUC-AP and the OTCI on such topics as globalization and the role of trade unions, gender equality, social safety nets, and organization strategy. The course ended with the participants compiling and presenting activity plans.
|07/22||Fri||Seminar day 1; opening ceremony|
|07/23||Sat||Seminar day 2|
|07/24||Sun||Seminar day 3|
|07/25||Mon||Seminar day 4|
|07/26||Tue||Seminar day 5|
|07/27||Wed||Seminar day 6|
|07/28||Thu||Seminar day 7|
|07/29||Fri||Seminar day 8; end|