ITUC-TC/JILAF Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in Thailand

Group photo

 JILAF held a two-day industrial relations and labour policy seminar in Bangkok on July 22–23 together with the Thai Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-TC). The seminar, which was held under consignment from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare), was attended by 61 people, including officials from the four national centers under the ITUC-TC and main industrial unions (Japanese company unions), as well as representatives from the Thai Ministry of Labour and the Employers’ Confederation of Thailand (ECOT).

 At the beginning, addresses were heard from JILAF Councilor Oyama and ITUC-TC representative Mr. Manop Kuera (deputy general secretary of the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation [SERC]), speaking on behalf of the organizers, as well as the acting head of the Department of Industrial Relations in the Bureau of Labour Protection and Welfare of the Thai Ministry of Labour, ECOT President Ekasit Kunanantakul, and Mr. Okamoto, second secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Thailand. They expressed their expectations of the seminar and stressed the importance of constructive industrial relations.

 Next, identifying the issues from now on, JILAF Assistant Secretary General Ryo Saito delivered a lecture titled “The Role of the Japanese Labour Movement and Issues,” and JILAF Councilor Oyama spoke about safety nets in Japan (employment insurance, industrial accident insurance, pensions, health insurance, and the livelihood protection system).

 Professor Sakdina of Thammasat University then gave a talk titled “The Necessity of Strengthening the Labour Movement in the Kingdom of Thailand,” in which he specified steps toward the integration of the Thai labour movement and spoke of the importance of a shift from a disparate dispute-oriented movement to an integrated dialogue-oriented movement.

 The participants expressed agreement with Japanese-style industrial relations and asked about recent activities. In response, JILAF Assistant Secretary General Saito again stressed the significance of constructive industrial relations in which labour and management make efforts to engage in dialogue, solve problems through cooperation, and endeavor to improve productivity and increase distribution. “It is essential,” he said, “for all of the participants here today to take specific action, with a sense of involvement, to bring the labour movement together beyond the throng of 15 national centers, industrial federations, and company-based unions and to raise the organization ratio.”

 On the second day, First Secretary Kazuma Takago of the Japanese Embassy in Thailand (formerly of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare) gave an opening address, after which Mr. Teruhiko Sekiguchi, director of the JILAF Thailand Office, delivered a briefing titled “Toward the Building of Constructive Industrial Relations through the Solidarity of the Thai Labour Movement.”

 After that, the participants held plenary discussions in line with the theme and issued a joint statement. Specifically, the seminar’s joint statement emphasized the need to (1) expand and strengthen trust-based communication between the national centers and between labour and management toward the realization of policy and system demands for all workers; (2) quantitatively and qualitatively strengthen the labour movement through organization and the training of union leaders; and (3) foster trustworthy relations between labour and management and build constructive industrial relations by contributing to productivity improvement. JILAF Councilor Oyama and Director Sekiguchi made pertinent comments on the statement and requested the steady implementation of its contents.

 Finally, closing the two-day seminar, JILAF Councilor Oyama remarked, “The seminar was a good opportunity for related parties to have deeper discussions about the building of constructive industrial relations, the development of the labour movement, the development of a balanced economy and society, and the desirable method of social security here in Thailand. We look forward to everyone’s strenuous efforts and concrete action.”

Schedule

DateContents
07/22SatSeminar day 1
07/23SunSeminar day 2

Photos of Participants

Opening address by JILAF Councilor Oyama

Lecture by JILAF Assistant Secretary General Saito

Group presentation