The Regional Organization of the International Trade Union Confederation for the Asia and the Pacific (ITUC-AP) held a coordination meeting for Trade Union International Solidarity Support Organizations (TUSSO) and Global Union Federations (GUF) in Singapore on December 13-14. Thirty-eight persons attended, including representatives from JILAF and other support organizations and 15 GUFs. The aim of this coordination meeting is to share the knowledge and experiences of participating organizations and to enable support organizations to provide even more effective assistance.
In the meeting, among other things, (1) the ITUC-AP gave an explanation of economic and social conditions in the Asia-Pacific region and reported on the situation of labour organizations supported by the ITUC-AP; (2) the ITUC-AP, TUSSO, and GUFs explained and discussed conditions in each country; and (3) the participants explained and discussed the efforts of their organizations to address major issues facing the labour movement.
Status of the Labour Movement in Asia-Pacific Countries
Regarding social conditions and the status of the labour movement in Asia-Pacific countries, discussions focused mainly on the need to provide support to the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB), the building of relations between the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) and the ITUC-AP, and a proposal to implement safety measures following a fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh. There was also an exchange of information on individual countries, including responses to the strengthening of trade union organization in Asia and the violation of trade union rights in the Pacific and the need to pay attention to democratization in the Middle East.
JILAF delivered reports on the PROGRESS program aimed at promoting the productivity movement and building sound labour-management relations, which is being implemented in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Mongolia, and the SGRA program to assist informal workers, which is being implemented in Thailand, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
Efforts of Each Organization to Address Major Issues
Concerning major issues in the activities of participating organizations, discussions centered on the problems of unstable work, informal work, and migratory work. Furthermore, there were discussions on a dialogue between international financial institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and trade unions on such issues as the financial crisis, free trade agreements, labour market policy, social security, and the infringement of trade union rights, as well as the efforts of trade unions to tackle such issues as climate change. In addition, regarding global problems such as climate change and poverty, there was a discussion about the introduction of an international solidarity levy, which would be levied on economic activities conducted beyond national borders with the revenue utilized to assist developing countries.
The participants decided to hold coordination meetings in the near future in Bangladesh and also in Vietnam and Laos, which are not affiliated with the ITUC. In addition, they confirmed that from now on also their organizations will deepen mutual solidarity centering on the ITUC-AP and provide even more effective assistance to recipient organizations.
|12/13||Tue||ITUC-AP Cordination meeting with GUFs and TUSSOs (Day 1)|
|12/14||Wed||ITUC-AP Cordination meeting with GUFs and TUSSOs (Day 2)|