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 8th Youth Leadership Course for 16 days from August 19 (Wednesday) to September 2 (Wednesday) in Singapore. This multinational seminar is commissioned by the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare).
In this course, which is held every year, the participants receive various lectures on such topics as the building of constructive industrial relations, cooperation-based organizational management, and international solidarity. The objective is to enable participants to gain the knowledge and grounding necessary for them as future trade union and workplace leaders. This year’s course was attended by 39 young trade union leaders from 21 countries; the ratio of women was 48.7%.
From JILAF, in order to deepen the understanding of participants regarding differences in national labour movements and the role of trade unions in a global economy, Executive Director Hisashige Danno delivered two lectures 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.” JILAF Executive Director Danno explained about such topics as efforts to achieve employment stability through constructive industrial relations and the importance of realizing a proper distribution of profits to workers through contributions to productivity improvement.
In the lecture titled “Social and Economic Development and the Social Role of the Labour Movement,” JILAF Executive Director Danno outlined his understanding of the changes surrounding workers brought about by globalization and explained the present condition and outlook of Asian economies. He emphasized that the transformation and experience of industrial relations in Japan (striking a balance between cooperation through labour-management consultations and confrontation through collective bargaining) would be a useful reference for countries where industrial relations are becoming increasingly complex as a result of economic development.
In the lecture titled “Postwar Formation of the Japanese Labour Movement and Characteristics of Japanese Labour-Management Relations,” JILAF Executive Director Danno stated that an analysis of history and correct understanding of the present situation are extremely important for looking into the future and that the transformation and experience of the Japanese labour movement would definitely be of use for labour movements in Asian countries from now on. From this standpoint, he went on to explain, among other things, (1) the history of the Japanese labour movement since the end of World War II and changes in the movement’s policy (shedding of the confrontation-first approach); (2) macroeconomic growth and improvements in the livelihoods of union members and working conditions; (3) the productivity improvement movement; (4) the labour-management consultation system and collective bargaining, the building of constructive industrial relations, and employment stability; and (5) organizational management emphasizing trust and dialogue with union members in the workplace. Many participants acknowledged that the building of Japanese-style industrial relations would be beneficial for both labour and management. JILAF Executive Director Danno also replied to questions from the participants on such issues as tripartite relations among the government, labour, and management in Japan, the relationship between Japanese trade unions and politics, and the prewar trade union movement.
As well as the lectures from JILAF, the participants also heard various lectures from the ITUC-AP and the OTCI on such topics as globalization and the role of trade unions, gender equality, the social safety net, and organization strategy. The course ended with the participants compiling and presenting action plans.
|08/19||Wed||Opening ceremony; “Globalization and the Role of Trade Unions”|
|08/20||Thu||“Elimination of Discrimination and ILO Convention No. 111”; visit to national center (National Trades Union Congress)|
|08/21||Fri||“Fair Work Patterns for a Fair Society”; presentation skills|
|08/25||Tue||“Social Safety Net”; “Employment Protection Policy”|
|08/26||Wed||“Protection and Rights of Migrant Workers”; “The Problem of Youth Employment”|
|08/27||Thu||“Strategic Planning as Leaders”; “Setting Goals as Leaders”|
|08/28||Fri||“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”|
|08/29||Sat||Dialogue with young members of the NTUC|
|08/31||Mon||“Organization and Workers’ Rights”; “ILO and International Labour Standards”|
|09/02||Wed||Presentation of action plans; closing ceremony|