Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in Laos

Group photo of seminar participants

JILAF, together with the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU), held a two-day industrial relations and labour policy seminar in the Lao capital of Vientiane on June 12–13. The seminar was attended by 82 people, including senior officials of the LFTU and representatives from the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI).

At the beginning, JILAF Director General Takao Yasunaga and LFTU Vice-President Symoune Ounlansy explained the purpose and objectives of the seminar, expressed their hopes of the seminar, and emphasized the importance of constructive industrial relations in bringing about the economic development of Laos.

Next, JILAF Director General Yasunaga delivered a lecture titled “The Role of Japanese Trade Unions and Issues,” in which he explained (1) the history of Japanese trade unions, (2) the present state of trade unions in Japan, and (3) the functions and role of Japanese trade unions. In view of an increase in the number of industrial disputes, both large and small, in Laos recently, he also gave an overview of the industrial dispute resolution system in Japan and talked about his own specific experience in efforts to build constructive industrial relations and ensure employment stability. The participants made many comments on the importance of building constructive industrial relations to prevent needless industrial disputes.

There were also lectures from the LFTU on “The Industrial Dispute Resolution System in Laos” and the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare on “The Revised Minimum Wage System.” (From May 1, 2018, the monthly minimum wage in Laos was raised from 900,000 kip to 1.1 million kip.)

The participants then divided into five groups for group discussions on the themes of “The prevention of industrial disputes through the building of constructive industrial relations” and “Proposals for compliance with the revised minimum wage,” after which they compiled and presented action plans. The group presentations included proposals to (1) conclude appropriate collective agreements for the prevention of needless industrial disputes, (2) promote activities to encourage understanding of labour legislation (including the minimum wage) by both labour and management, and (3) promote compliance with labour laws through the strengthening of government-labour-management relations.

Finally, JILAF Director General Yasunaga ended the two-day seminar by once again emphasizing the importance of constructive industrial relations, adding in conclusion, “Both labour and management need to respond to advancing technological innovations, so there is no time for industrial disputes. Through not only social dialogue but also individual and industrial labour-management consultations, both sides should work together to come up with proposals for new industrial policies and new business development in coordination with the maintenance and expansion of employment and building of safe and secure workplaces.”


06/12TueIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar day 1
06/13WedIndustrial relations and labour policy seminar day 2

Photos of the Participants

Opening ceremony

Lecture by JILAF

Lecture by the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare

Lecture by the LFTU

Group discussions

Presentation of action plan