A JILAF delegation visited Bangkok from Saturday, April 22 to Thursday, April 27 on the occasion of the fiscal 2017 start of the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network), which JILAF is implementing with grants from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare). The delegation studied and discussed annual plans and specific activities based on the project policy for the current fiscal year with Thai counterparts.
In Thailand, the SGRA project is being implemented in the four districts of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Surat Thani under the central Promotion Committee (PC), the policy decision-making body consisting of representatives of the Thai government, labour, and management (Ministry of Labour, Thai Council of the International Trade Union Confederation [ITUC-TC], and Employers’ Confederation of Thailand [ECOT]), and the Central Working Committee (CWC), Northern Working Committee (NWC), Northeastern Working Committee (KWC), and Southern Working Committee (SWC), which promote local activities.
In the 1st PC meeting and 1st Expanded Working Committee meeting, which were held this time, the participants looked back on achievements and issues of the project in fiscal 2016 and held intensive studies and discussions of annual plans and specific activities based on the project policy confirmed at the fiscal 2016 national workshop held on January 21, 2017. They confirmed specific activities for the development of the project in fiscal 2017.
In the current fiscal year, activities in Thailand will include (1) as phase two of the project, reaching out to informal-sector workers facing especially difficult conditions (disabled persons, minority ethnic groups, slum dwellers, victims of flooding in the southern part of the country, Muslim communities, etc.); (2) promotion of the full independence and autonomy of the project based on SGRA credit unions and spreading it throughout the whole of Thailand; (3) strengthening of the bridging of network members to vocational training programs run by the government and others; (4) job fairs by the employers’ organization to help network members find work and change jobs toward their acquisition of formal status; and (5) coordination with the government (including encouragement to subscribe under Article 40 of the Thai Social Security Act) and continued cooperation with projects of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
In the 1st Expanded Working Committee meeting, attended by members of the Regional Working Committees, the participants discussed and confirmed the project plan for the current fiscal year and then split up into regional groups (the Central Working Group included representatives of the four organizations affiliated to the ITUC-TC, as well as the central government and employers’ organization) to formulate fiscal 2017 action plans, which were then presented to the full meeting, with JILAF Assistant Secretary General Ryo Saito and Director Teruhiko Sekiguchi of JILAF’s Thailand Office adding pertinent comments. After the presentations, the participants engaged in discussions.
|04/22||Sat||Discussions with JILAF’s Thailand Office|
1st Promotion Committee meeting
|04/23||Sun||1st Expanded Working Committee meeting|