Eurasian Team

JILAF invited a team from Eurasia to visit Japan from November 10 to 23. The team consisted of a total of nine persons from six countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan).

The participants showed much interest in Japanese labour-management relations and rated them very highly. Some of the participating countries are facing ethnic problems, and some participants commented that they felt the need for social dialogue to solve them and that the Japanese system, which emphasizes dialogue in all contexts, would be immensely useful as a reference.

It was also evident that the participants were looking for some extremely concrete information that would be immediately effective in union management in their own countries, such as information concerning the approach of Japanese trade unions in labour-management disputes, the collection of union dues by Japanese trade unions, and the organizational administration of Japanese trade unions. At the same time, they also posed questions that seemed only natural from the point of view of overseas trade union leaders, such as whether the Japanese prime minister’s call for wage hikes could be seen as unwarrantable interference in the autonomy of labour and management and whether Japan’s labour-management consultative system in the end weakens the collective bargaining power of unions. In response, the Japanese side explained that the prime minister’s wage-hike statements do not have any binding power and that consultations and collective bargaining are viewed separately and definitely do not lead to a mixing of the standpoints of labour and management, which firmly assert their respective cases; the distribution of profits is determined through collective bargaining. The participants appeared to be convinced by these explanations.

In the lecture by an industrial trade union federation, Denki Rengo (Japanese Electrical, Electronic, and Information Union) told the participants about its organizational structure, relations with employers, mutual-aid schemes, and other topics. The participants were therefore able to learn about the specific role of an industrial federation in Japan.

In the RENGO Shiga program, the participants visited a Hello Work employment office, where they received an explanation of the government’s job-introduction program. They were able to learn about the activities of the Hello Work office, focusing especially on young people and new graduates, and the countermeasures of Shiga Prefecture. They also visited the Shiga (Ryuo) Plant of Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd., where they inspected the manufacturing site and received an explanation of the wage system, welfare measures, and so on.

Finally the participants compiled individual action plans on how they intended to put what they had learned in the program to use in their own countries. Their suggestions included “introducing a spring labour offensive system,” “establishing a labour-management consultative system for the prevention of labour-management disputes,” and “launching a movement for productivity improvement.”

Eurasian Team Participants

Azerbaijan Trade Union Confederation(AHIK/ATUC)

1.NameMr. Fuad Mamadov
 Name of organizationAzerbaijan Trade Union Confederation(AHIK/ATUC)
 PositionHead of International Department
 Union experience12

Georgian Trade Unions Confederation(GTUC)

2.NameMr. Ilia Verdzadze
 Name of organizationThe Trade Union Confederation of Ajara Autonomous Republic
 PositionChairman
 Union experience9

Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan(FTURK)

3.NameMs. Aizhan Ibrayeva
 Name of organizationFederation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan(FTURK)
 PositionConsultant of the Deparetment of Social Economic Protection and Labour Inspection
 Union experience8

Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan(FTURK)

4.NameMr. Salavat Agdautov
 Name of organizationTrade Union of Health Workers of Kazakhstan
 PositionChairman, Zapad-Kazakstan Branch
 Union experience17

Confederation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Moldova(CNSM)

5.NameMr. Igor Zubcu
 Name of organizationTrade Union Sanatatea
 PositionSenior Advisor on Juridical Issues
 Union experience9

Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine(KVPU)

6.NameMs. Natalya Kukhar
 Name of organizationndependent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine
 PositionHead of the Social and Labour Department
 Union experience8

Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine(KVPU)

7.NameMr. Valentyn Kutsenko
 Name of organizationTrade Union of the Institute of Reproductive Medicine(IRM)
 PositionEconomic Expert
 Union experience4

Trade Unions Federation of Uzbekistan (TUFU)

8.NameMr. Farhodjon Khanapiyayev
 Name of organizationTrade Unions of Health Workers of Uzbekistan
 PositionChairman, Central Comimittee
 Union experience11

Trade Unions Federation of Uzbekistan (TUFU)

9.NameMr. Ulugbek Baymuratov
 Name of organizationTrade Union of Workers Tashkent University
 PositionChairman
 Union experience9

Photos of Participants

Visit to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Visit to RENGO

Denki Rengo lecture

Group discussions

Visit to Hiroshima

Discussion with RENGO Shiga

Visit to Techno College Kusatsu

Visit to Daihatsu Motor’s Shiga (Ryuo) Plant

Lecture by the Japan Productivity Center