JILAF Executive Director Danno’s session on the experience of the Japanese labour movement and characteristics of labour-management relations in Japan
JILAF, together with the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-AP) and the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute (OTCI), held the 7th Youth Leadership Course for 16 days from August 20 (Wednesday) to September 4 (Thursday) in Singapore.
This course is the successor of the Advanced Leadership Course, which was held before the formation of the ITUC-AP together with the Asian and Pacific Regional Organization of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU-APRO) and the OTCI. The first Advanced Leadership Course took place in 1992, and altogether the two courses have been held a combined 23 times.
The latest course was attended by 41 persons from 34 organizations in 25 countries, including the National Union of Afghanistan’s Workers and Employees (NUAWE), the General Federation of Oman Trade Unions (GFOTU), and SENTRO in the Philippines, which have recently joined the ITUC and ITUC-AP, as well as the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU), which are friendly organizations. The ratio of women participating in the course was 48.7%. From JILAF, Executive Director Hisashige Danno and Field Project Group Leader Toshiyuki Wakatsuki attended on the first and second days.
At the opening ceremony on the first day, messages were given by representatives of the three organizers: ITUC-AP General Secretary Noriyuki Suzuki, OTCI Director S. Thiagarajan, and JILAF Executive Director Danno. In his address, ITUC-AP General Secretary Suzuki urged the participants to take an active part in the course and expressed appreciation for JILAF’s cooperation in the project since the ICFTU-APRO days. OTCI Director Thiagarajan urged the participants to think about how they should behave as leaders, approach the course with a cheerful attitude, and make many friends. With reference to the international situation, JILAF Executive Director Danno encouraged the participants to study together through exchange and to have a fulfilling stay.
Next, ITUC-AP General Secretary Suzuki gave a speech titled “The Response of Trade Unions amid Globalization,” in which he outlined the overall issues of the two-week course. General Secretary Suzuki noted that although economies have grown, wages have continued to fall, disparities are widening, and distortions in the fair distribution of profits have become evident. He posed the problem, among others, of how to go about improving livelihoods in such circumstances.
In the afternoon of the first day JILAF Executive Director Danno gave two presentations on “Social and Economic Development and the Social Role of the Labour Movement” and “Postwar Formation of the Japanese Labour Movement and Characteristics of Japanese Labour-Management Relations.” In the first presentation, Executive Director Danno analyzed the situation facing trade unions amid structural changes brought about by globalization and said that trade unions also must have a business sense and think simultaneously about making demands and cooperating. He emphasized the need to build trustworthy relations with employers. In the second presentation, Executive Director Danno introduced the experience of the Japanese labour movement and stressed the importance of building constructive labour-management relations. The participants actively asked questions about the situation of youth employment in Japan, Executive Director Danno’s opinion of the present situation in which the market economy has gone too far, and other issues.
On the second day ITUC-AP staff were mobilized and guidance was given on how the participants would conduct discussions over the 16-day course. In two sessions on social and economic problems and labour problems, the participants explained the issues existing in their own countries, and ITUC-AP staff presented summaries of the discussions. On the first day the participants had been rather nervous, but after the clarification of discussion methods, they were obviously becoming more relaxed and confident.
The course proceeded without mishap on the third and subsequent days. When it came to their presentations, the participants made determined declarations of intent, stating that they wanted to utilize the experience and strive to achieve the labour movement’s constructive development in their own countries.
|08/20||Wed||Opening ceremony; orientation; “The Response of Trade Unions amid Globalization”; “Social and Economic Development and the Social Role of the Labour Movement”; “Postwar Formation of the Japanese Labour Movement and Characteristics of Japanese Labour-Management Relations”|
|08/21||Thu||Course guide; presentation technique|
|08/22||Fri||Elimination of discrimination and ILO Convention No. 111; visit to national center|
|08/25||Mon||Gender equality 1; Leadership 1|
|08/26||Tue||Gender equality 2; Leadership 2|
|08/27||Wed||Strategic planning of trade unions; setting of goals as leaders|
|08/28||Thu||Problem of youth employment; working conditions|
|08/29||Fri||Migrant labour; improvement of workplace environment; social safety net|
|08/30||Sat||Employment protection policy; dialogue with young members of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)|
|09/01||Mon||Organization and workers’ rights; ILO and international labour standards|
|09/03||Wed||Wrap-up; presentations by participants|
|09/04||Thu||Unionism of the ITUC|