Middle East and Northern Africa Team

JILAF invited a team of 10 persons (including 3 women) from eight countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa to visit Japan from January 20 to February 2.

Although the labour situation in Middle Eastern and North African countries differs greatly from that of Japan, some countries share with Japan certain common issues arising from the impact of globalization, such as the increase of nonregular employment and widening of disparities. Therefore, the participants showed much interest in what kind of measures were being taken by related organizations in Japan toward the solution of these problems. They also clearly felt the need to strengthen cooperation with trade unions in not only Japan but other countries as well in order to find solutions.

In the RENGO Mie program, in discussions with RENGO Mie executives the participants received explanations of welfare projects being operated cooperatively by workers in order to improve the livelihood of workers and the activities of RENGO Mie at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake. In a visit to Japan Marine United Corporation, they inspected the manufacturing site and received an explanation of labour-management relations in the company. In visits to the Mie Prefecture Labour Bureau and Hello Work Tsu, they learned about the employment situation in Mie Prefecture and were able to observe the prefecture’s front-line employment stability administration. Furthermore, as an example of workers’ welfare project activities, they were able to inspect and hear explanations of a housing sales project operated by the Mie Prefecture Workers’ Housing Cooperative.

The industrial federation and workplace visit this time was conducted with the cooperation of Denki Rengo (Japanese Electrical, Electronic, and Information Union). After hearing an explanation of Denki Rengo’s wide-ranging activities at its headquarters, the participants visited the Fuchu Plant of Toshiba Corporation, which is affiliated with Denki Rengo. Here they inspected the manufacturing site and engaged in discussions with labour and management. They were able to hear about such topics as how the union communicates with individual union members.

On the final day, in response to a question about how they wanted to utilize what they had learned through the JILAF program in their own activities back home, the participants gave such replies as “emphasis on labour-management dialogue in the solution of problems,” “attitude of labour-management cooperation for the improvement of productivity,” “tripartite consultations by government, labour, and management,” and “spring struggle.”

The participating union leaders from Arabic societies differing greatly from Japan in terms of their labour and social conditions, and in various other ways as well, highly appraised Japanese labour-management relations, which always put an emphasis on dialogue in the solution of problems. Since national conditions are so different, it will be difficult for them to immediately introduce Japanese systems upon their return home. But nevertheless, they said, they want to use the experience and information obtained as a first step toward the establishment of constructive labour-management relations in the future.

List of Organization That Cooperated in the Visit

RENGO MieJapan Marine United Corporation
Japan Marine United Workers’ UnionMie Prefecture Labour Bureau
Hello Work TsuMie Prefecture Workers’ Housing Cooperative
Denki RengoToshiba Corporation Fuchu Plant
Toshiba Workers’ Union Fuchu Plant BranchNippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)

Many thanks to everyone.

Middle East and Northern Africa Team Participants

Union Générale des Travailleurs Algériens(UGTA)

1.NameMr. Nourredine ZIANI
 Name of organizationUnion Générale des Travailleurs Algériens(UGTA)
 PositionFormateur, l''institut national des études et recherches syndicale de l''UGTA
 Union experience22

Union Générale des Travailleurs Algériens(UGTA)

2.NameMs. Karima BENTRIA
 Name of organizationUnion Générale des Travailleurs Algériens(UGTA)
 PositionFormatrice, l''institut national des études et recherches syndicale de l''UGTA
 Union experience5

General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions(GFBTU)

3.NameMr. Jaafar Khalil ISA
 Name of organizationGeneral Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU)
 PositionAssistant General Secretary for Information
 Union experience10

The Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU)

4.NameMr. Essam ABD ELFATTAHEL NAGREEDY
 Name of organizationThe Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU)
 PositionGeneral Coordinator of Occupational Health and Safety, Member of the Board
 Union experience2

The General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions(GFJTU)

5.NameMr. Haman Mazen AKMAITA
 Name of organizationGFJTU Municipality
 PositionHead of Union
 Union experience7

Kuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF)

6.NameMr. Sabah ED ALAEMI
 Name of organizationKuwait Trade Union Federation (KTUF)
 PositionDirector of Labour Culture Institute
 Union experience5

Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT)

7.NameMs. Sanaa EL MOUNADDIF
 Name of organizationUnion Marocaine du Travail (UMT)
 PositionMembre de la Commission Administrative
 Union experience7

Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions(PGFTU)

8.NameMr. Farouq Ahmad AREF AREF
 Name of organizationPalestine General Federation of Trade Unions(PGFTU)
 PositionTulkarem Branch, Secretary
 Union experience21

Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions(PGFTU)

9.NameMs. Halima Qasim ALALAQMA
 Name of organizationBuilding and Wood Union
 PositionWomen Department
 Union experience13

The General Federation of Workers'' Trade Unions of Yemen(GFWTUY)

10.NameMr. Nabeel Hashem Abdulkarim AL-SHAMI
 Name of organizationUnion of Workers Administrators Judicial Authority
 PositionPresident
 Union experience8

Photos of Participants

Visit to the Japan Productivity Center

“Exchange of Views on Labour Situation” meeting

Visit to Hiroshima

Visit to Japan Marine United

Discussion with the Mie Prefecture Labour Bureau

Discussion with RENGO Mie and a workers’ welfare organization

Visit to the Mie Prefecture Workers’ Housing Cooperative

Visit to Denki Rengo

Visit to the Toshiba Corporation Fuchu Plant