Non-English-Speaking Youth Team

Commemorative photo with JILAF officials (opening ceremony on June 17)

JILAF invited a total of 12 persons (of whom 5 were women) from Thailand and Laos to visit Japan from June 17 to 30. All of the program was completed as planned.

Perhaps because this was a youth team with relatively little trade union experience, many of the questions asked at the time of the lectures were basic and elementary. Nevertheless, the participants seemed to show much personal interest in such topics as the problem of youth employment and the building of constructive industrial relations.

In their visit to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the participants heard lectures on employment and workstyles, the role of the labour administration, and so on and asked questions about such issues as the disabled employment ratio, subsidy system, and the state of industrial disputes in Japan.

In their industrial federation visit, the participants visited Kikan Roren (Japan Federation of Basic Industry Workers’ Unions), where they heard about its organizational structure and activities and asked many questions about specific efforts to expand organization.

In an exchange of opinions with students at Ochanomizu University, the participants and students studying under Ochanomizu University Professor Nobuko Nagase (a total of 22 people) engaged in group work, in which each group chose its theme from among (1) job-hunting activities, (2) work-life balance, and (3) gender in the workplace. Despite the fact that the group work involved interpretation, the discussions were lively, and members exchanged opinions on difference in employment environment, work attitudes of young people, and so on. In the presentations that followed, each group accurately pinpointed the labour issues that needed solving in each country and the direction of improvement.

In the regional program, the participants visited the Ishikawa Prefecture Council of Workers’ Welfare, RENGO Ishikawa, the Ishikawa Prefectural Government Office, the Komatsu Plant of J-BUS Ltd., and Ishikawa Polytechnic Center, engaging in lively discussions at each place.

The participants proposed the following action plans:

---"We visited a private company and learned about the content of labour laws and regulations and so on.” (Laos)
---“We will promote the conclusion of labour agreements so as to build good industrial relations.” (Laos)
---“We will raise the ratio of female trade union officials to 40% by 2023.” (Thailand)
---“We will implement training that reflects the content of our training at Zenrosai Kyokai [National Association for Workers’ Welfare and Cooperative Insurance] by 2020.” (Thailand)
---“We will disseminate knowledge about labour-related legislation and so on by establishing a thinktank, writing books related to labour, and donating them to public libraries.” (Thailand)
---“We will establish a study group in our workplace during fiscal 2018 in order to build sound industrial relations.” (Thailand)
---“We will call for improvement of the pre- and postnatal leave scheme. Specifically, we will demand that the current childbirth leave of 90 days be extended to 120 days by May 2019.” (Thailand)

List of Cooperating Organizations

Japan Federation of Basic Industry Workers' Unions (Kikan Roren)Ochanomizu University
Ishikawa Prefecture Council of Workers’ WelfareIshikawa Prefectural Government Office
RENGO IshikawaIshikawa Polytechnic Center
Komatsu Plant of J-BUS Ltd. (labour and management)

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

Participants engage in group work in an exchange meeting with Ochanomizu University students studying under Professor Nagase.

Visit to the Komatsu Plant of J-BUS Ltd. (RENGO Ishikawa program)

Presentations on the labour situation in participating countries in the Exchange of Views on Labour Situation meeting