Seminar on Prevention of Industrial Disputes
On August 8, 2017, JILAF held the fifth seminar on the prevention of industrial disputes on the theme of “Achieving social development and the stabilization of industrial relations through the prevention of meaningless industrial disputes.” The seminar, to which trade union leaders and top business leaders from Thailand and Vietnam were invited, was attended by 84 people, including trade union, company, and government representatives, researchers, and students.
After an address on behalf of the organizers by JILAF President Hiroyuki Nagumo, Professor Emeritus Kozo Kagawa of Kobe University and Osaka Jogakuin University delivered a keynote lecture on the social and economic impact of economic integration in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on countries concerned, including labour problems relating to ASEAN’s economic integration.
Representatives from Thailand and Vietnam then reported on the present state of industrial disputes in their countries, the background, and steps to prevent them. From Thailand, Mr. Chalee Loysong, president of the Confederation of Electronic, Electrical Appliances, Auto and Metal Workers (TEAM), reported, citing specific examples, about the present state of confrontational industrial relations in Thailand and expectations of Japanese companies regarding labour-management relations, and Ms. Siriwan Romchattong, secretary-general of the Employers’ Confederation of Thailand (ECOT), spoke about the need for best practices in industrial relations. From Vietnam, Ms. Tran Thi Thanh Ha, deputy director of the Industrial Relations Bureau of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), spoke about the present state of strikes and the response of trade unions, and Mr. Masao Yamasaki, president of Toto Vietnam Co., Ltd., talked about the case of labour-management collaboration at Toto Vietnam.
These reports were followed by a panel discussion, with Professor Emeritus Kagawa serving as coordinator and the above four reporters from Thailand and Vietnam participating as panelists. Questions that arose during the discussions included the following:
---There are many national centers in Thailand. Is there any conflict among trade unions?
---Amid debate about revision of labour legislation in Vietnam, how are the regulations regarding strikes going to change?
---Toto is contributing to Vietnamese society through the diffusion of its products, but what is the state of penetration in rural areas?
---How are trade unions responding to the issue of foreign workers in Thailand?
---What is the outlook for revision of the labour code in Vietnam? When will it be revised? And regarding working hours, mandatory retirement, and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, unions other than the VGCL appear to be heading toward approval. What is the situation?
---Do industrial dispute responses differ between Chinese, Korean, European, and US companies on the one hand and Japanese companies on the other?
Finally, the seminar ended with a wrap-up by JILAF Executive Director Takao Yasunaga, who spoke about the need to build constructive industrial relations from now on and stressed that JILAF would continue to devote its efforts to this task.
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