Constructive Industrial Relations Enhancement and Development Team

The Constructive Industrial Relations Enhancement and Development Team visited Japan from July 29 (Sunday) to August 4 (Saturday).

The invited participants with JILAF officials

JILAF invited a total of 10 persons (of whom 4 were women) from five countries (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand) to visit Japan from July 29 to August 4. They completed the whole program according to schedule.

The invitation was limited to the officials of trade unions in Japanese companies, where the foundations of constructive industrial relations are taking root. (Although the participants from the Indian National Trade Union Congress [INTUC] were not officials of trade unions in Japanese companies, they were invited in view of JILAF’s trustworthy relations with the INTUC and other factors.) The objective of the program was to facilitate the strengthening and development of industrial relations in these countries by enabling the participants to carefully study the latest situation regarding industrial relations and other topics in Japan.

In their visit to an industrial federation, the participants visited the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery, and Manufacturing Workers (JAM), where they heard lectures on JAM’s organizational structure, the basic principles of the labour movement, and its current activities. The participants showed particular interest in such issues as the gap between small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations, the present state of Japan’s SMEs, which are struggling in the face of a shortage of successors, and the increasing number of foreign workers in Japan. Discussions were lively.

An expanded version of the Exchange of Views on Labour Situation meeting, titled “The Efforts of Labour and Management Based on Mutual Equality and Autonomy,” was attended by 36 persons (14 trade union officials, 1 government official, 1 university researcher, 2 nongovernmental organization representatives, 9 JILAF officials, and 9 members of the general public).
. The 10 invited participants from five countries reported on the latest labour situation in their countries, and information was shared on best practices based on an equal and autonomous partnership between labour and management.

The main points of the country reports were as follows:
---India: It is important for the growth of companies for the labour side to actively participate in management.
---Indonesia: The Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (CITU) has established the CLAPE slogan and is engaging in trade union activities without interference from management. The existence of a trade union promotes communication between the management side and the labour side. (CLAPE stands for “concept, lobbying, action, politics, and economics.”)
---Malaysia: The problems faced by workers are discussed and settled in labour-management committees.
---Philippines: Labour and management hold a conference once a month to discuss such issues as improvement of the workplace environment and health and safety.
---Thailand: Discussions are held regularly with management to share information on present conditions inside and outside the company. Labour and management co-organize seminars on plans for the sustainable development of the company and the building of good industrial relations.

Discussions in the Exchange of Views on Labour Situation meeting were lively, with highly suggestive exchanges taking place on such issues as the roles and responsibilities of labour and management in view of their respective standpoints.
The main points of the action plans proposed by the participants were as follows:
---“I will try to raise awareness of trade unions in unorganized sectors (construction, agriculture).” (India)
---“Trade unions should participate in discussions on investment.” (Indonesia)
---“I will explain to union members about the importance of the labour movement and the role of trade unions.” (Malaysia)
---“We must make efforts to increase the number of union members in our organization and the electronics industry from 3,000 to 20,000 by 2020.” (Malaysia)
---“We must inform union members about the topic of industrial disputes in a timely manner.” (Philippines)
---“I will propose the introduction of a labour-management consultation system to the management side.” (Philippines)
---“I will organize a seminar on industrial relations.” (Thailand)

List of Cooperating Organizations

Labour Liaison Council of the National Labour Relations CommissionsJapanese Association of Metal, Machinery, and Manufacturing Workers

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

Participants engage in discussions at the Labour Liaison Council of the National Labour Relations Commissions.

Visit to JAM

A participant delivers a country report in the expanded Exchange of Views on Labour Situation meeting.