JILAF, together with the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), held an industrial relations and labour policy seminar in Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, on May 11–12 with the participation of about 30 union leaders from those organizations.
The theme of the seminar, which was being held for the second time in India following one in October 2014, was “The present state of industrial relations and labour legislation in Japan and India, related issues, and the role of trade unions.” The seminar served to deepen discussions among the three organizations.
At the opening ceremony, addresses were given by HMS President Raja Sridhar, INTUC Tamil Nadu State President G. Kalan, and JILAF Executive Director Hisashige Danno. Deputy Consul-General Koji Sugiyama of the Japanese Consulate-General in Chennai then praised JILAF for its activities and achievements in India so far and added, “In India, where the entry of multinational corporations is striking, there are many problems in industrial relations. I hope that through seminars like this one organized by the INTUC, HMS, and JILAF, constructive industrial relations can be built as quickly as possible.”
In the sessions on the first day, JILAF Executive Director Danno gave a lecture titled “Labour and Social Legislation in Japan: The Legislative System Supporting the Labour Movement,” in which he explained about (1) the characteristics of labour and social legislation in Japan; (2) the Trade Union Act and Labour Standards Act, which support the labour movement; (3) legislation relating to employment and the labour market; and (4) the social security system in Japan.
Ms. Ramapriya Gopalakrishnan Advocate – Madras High Court, then gave a lecture on the revision of labour laws in India, in which she explained about changes in the labour market in India and talked about the contents and characteristics of the Trade Union Act, Industrial Disputes Act, and Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act. She also explained about the new labour code (Labour Code on Industrial Relations), which combines the contents of these three laws. As points of concern, she noted that the new code does not recognize the freedom of association and places restrictions on the right to strike.
On the second day, based on the theme of “Toward the building of better industrial relations,” there were group discussions and presentations on (1) the improvement of industrial relations in India and (2) coordination with international labour standards. Appropriate comments were made by INTUC Tamil Nadu State General Secretary Mr.R.P.K. Murugesan and others.
At the closing ceremony, JILAF Executive Director Danno said, “Since legislation relating to industrial relations has not yet been established in India, the fact that the activities of trade unions are limited is a major issue for the labour side. Sustained efforts will be necessary. For the building of constructive industrial relations, the survival of companies, improvement of the living standards of workers, and also appeals to parliament for the enactment of legislation, it will be necessary to rally the efforts of trade unions at all levels and in turn to unite the divided national centers. JILAF will continue to cooperate in the collaboration and efforts of both organizations.” In response, closing the seminar, HMS President Raja Sridhar expressed his gratitude to JILAF and stressed the importance of joint action by the HMS and INTUC.
After the seminar, through the coordination of seminar participants, the JILAF delegation visited the city of Guntur in the adjacent Andhra Pradesh State. Here the JILAF delegation held discussions with senior officials of INTUC in that state, obtaining feedback about the seminar content and hearing about the present state of industrial relations and the labour situation in Andhra Pradesh and related issues. During the discussions, the local trade union officials noted that individual employment contracts were not being concluded in that state and region, where there are many informal-sector workers, and that workers themselves did not know how to respond in industrial relations. Such issues, they said, were having a harmful impact on the living standards of workers and the regional economy. They requested that the industrial relations and labour policy seminar be held in Andhra Pradesh.
|05/11||Mon||Seminar day 1|
|05/12||Tue||Seminar day 2|
|05/13||Wed||Seminar day 3|