ITUC-CC/JILAF Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in Cambodia

JILAF, together with the Cambodian Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-CC), held a two-day industrial relations and labour policy seminar in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on July 30–31. The seminar was attended by 60 people from the three national centers affiliated with the ITUC-CC, namely, the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions (CCTU), the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU), and the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC).
The main themes of the seminar were the role of trade unions toward employment stability and expansion and the improvement of living standards and the role of trade unions in an age of globalization. Amid the rapid economic growth of Asian countries, discussions centered on such issues as the importance of constructive industrial relations and the prevention of meaningless industrial disputes.
At the seminar’s opening ceremony, addresses were given by Cambodia’s Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng and Ms. Sandra D’Amico, vice-president of the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations. The opening of the seminar, and especially the minister’s address, was reported by one domestic newspaper and four television channels.
In the lectures and presentations following the opening ceremony, first of all JILAF Secretary General Masayuki Shioda gave a talk titled “Industrial Relations and the Role of Trade Unions in Japan,” in which he explained about the role of trade unions with regard to industrial relations, including the structure of trade unions in Japan, the functions of negotiations and labour-management consultations, and the mechanism of the annual spring labour struggle.
The three national centers affiliated with the ITUC-CC then gave presentations on their current activities and issues. While all of them recognized the importance of constructive industrial relations through dialogue between labour and management, there was also some resentment toward the insincere response of management. In a lecture titled “The Response of Trade Unions after Inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community,” Director Teruhiko Sekiguchi of the JILAF Thailand Office gave an explanation using data about employment and labour in the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
On the second day the participants divided into four groups for group discussions. Each group chose one of three themes for discussion and presentation (the role of trade unions in the prevention of meaningless industrial disputes; issues in the expansion and strengthening of organization and how to overcome them; and the desired way of thinking about labour agreements).
In the group presentations, the participants recognized the importance of promoting internal education and communication in the workplace and, on this basis, improving the planning capabilities and trust of trade unions. Among other things, they also cited (1) efforts to build up sincere labour-management dialogue and to gain the trust of business partners and local authorities; (2) the importance of monitoring activities in trade unions, enhancing analytic capabilities, and prioritizing demands; and (3) efforts to assemble nonregular trade union members. In his closing wrap-up, JILAF Secretary General Shioda told the participants that he wanted them to take what they had learned in the seminar back to their workplaces and put it into practice.

Schedule

DateContents
07/30SatIndustrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar day 1
07/31SunIndustrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar day 2

Photos of Participants

Address by Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng

Scene of the seminar