JILAF, together with the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), held an industrial relations and labour policy seminar in Vijayawada in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on July 26–27. The seminar was attended by 54 young and middle-aged trade union leaders from Andhra Pradesh and three neighboring states, including three people from unions in Japanese companies operating in the area.
First of all, addresses were given by representatives of the organizers, JILAF and the INTUC. Explaining the significance of the seminar, JILAF President Hiroyuki Nagumo mentioned the cooperation and ties that were being advanced between India’s southern states, including Andhra Pradesh, the venue of the seminar, and Japan by both the public and private sectors and, in view of the future growth of investment in the region, stressed the importance of trade unions responding to multinational enterprises, including the building of constructive industrial relations.
After the opening, as the first lecture, JILAF President Nagumo gave a talk titled “Our Basic Thinking on Labour and Industrial Relations: From Japan’s Experience,” in which he discussed and shared such topics as (1) the present labour situation in Japan and issues, (2) the legislative system supporting constructive industrial relations, (3) the objectives and role of trade unions, and (4) the approach of trade union leaders.
The participants asked questions about such matters as promoting the movement for nonregular workers, response to free trade agreements and the deregulation of investment, differences in the response of employers to first and second trade unions in the workplace (company), and the impact on the process of determining working conditions (discriminatory treatment, etc.).
Next, JILAF Field Project Group Leader Hitoshi Suzuki gave a lecture titled “The Role of Trade Unions in Building the Next Development Stage,” and then Professor Krishna Mohan of the Department of Commerce and Management Studies at Andhra University outlined 24 items that he considered to be exemplary behavior to be followed by trade union leaders.
In the final session of the first day and the second day, all of the participants divided into three groups for group discussions and presentations. Each group chose one of three topics for their discussions and presentation: (1) the role of trade unions in the prevention of industrial disputes, (2) desirable labour agreements and their ethos, and (3) issues in organization expansion and strengthening and the response to them. (Each group selected a different topic, so there was no repetition.) Among other things, the presentations pointed out the need to (1) promote not only dialogue between labour and management but also dialogue and education within the union, (2) improve working conditions and expand and regularize workers’ welfare, and (3) strengthen the approach to youth and women in the workplace and raise the knowledge of executive committee members themselves regarding related laws and ordinances. After that, INTUC President G. Sajeeva Reddy gave a special lecture in which he emphasized the importance of strengthening rallying power and negotiating power at every level.
In his closing address, wrapping up the seminar, JILAF President Nagumo stated, “Trade unions need to gain the trust of society. This begins with dialogue within unions in the workplace, which will lead to dialogue between labour and management. This labour-management dialogue enables unions to win the trust of the company, which in turn helps them to gain trust from society. At the same time, in order to continue and stabilize the movement, it is essential to strengthen organization and train leaders. Rather than waiting for others to move, unions must take the initiative themselves.”
|07/26||Wed||Seminar day 1|
|07/27||Thu||Seminar day 2|