JILAF, together with the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), held an evaluation seminar of the POSITIVE workplace environment improvement program in Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, on August 22–24, 2014. (POSITIVE stands for Participation-Oriented Safety Improvements by Trade Union Initiative.)
The INTUC-led POSITIVE program consisted of a basic seminar (held in November 2013), a training seminar (held in February 2014), workplace seminars (held from March to August 2014 by participants in their workplaces), and the evaluation seminar, the program’s final seminar.
A total of 32 trade union leaders participated in the evaluation seminar---two to three participants from each of 15 workplaces of local and Japanese companies in the city. (Four of the participants were ordinary union members who had attended workplace seminars.) The aims of the seminar were to provide the participants with an opportunity to share improvement activities that they had implemented in their workplaces and good examples, review what had been learned in seminars so far, and further brush up their skills as instructors, facilitators, and trainers.
JILAF implements the POSITIVE program with financial support from the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects scheme of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was the second time for the POSITIVE program to be held in India; the first time was in the city of Coimbatore, also in the state of Tamil Nadu, in fiscal 2011.
The objective of the POSITIVE program is to foster trainers so that trade unions in developing countries, where workplace health and safety tend to get neglected, can take the initiative and autonomously bring about improvements. The program consists of four elements: (1) the storage and handling of materials; (2) workplace safety; (3) productivity improvement; and (4) health and welfare. Low-cost and immediately practicable methods are used, so it is easy for workers to learn and easy for employers to accept as well.
In the evaluation seminar the participants reported on 134 cases of improvement at the 15 workplaces (an average of 8.93 at each workplace). Many of them also commented that the project had been useful in building good labour-management relations. From now on the core trainers hopefully will foster POSITIVE trainers not only in their own workplaces but in other workplaces as well and promote improvement of the workplace environment.
|08/22||Fri||Seminar day 1: Reports on workplace seminars in each workplace, etc.|
|08/23||Sat||Seminar day 2: Reports on cases of improvement in each workplace, etc.|
|08/24||Sun||Seminar day 3: Commendation of improvement cases; compilation and presentation of action plans|