English-Speaking Africa Team

The English-Speaking Africa Team visited Japan from October 14 to 27.

Visit to the RENGO Headquarters (Japanese Trade Union Confederation)

The English-Speaking Africa Team, which visited Japan from October 14 to 27, consisted of a total of 11 participants (of whom 8 were women) from four countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia). The team completed the whole training program according to plan.

Since many of the participants currently hold important positions in their affiliated organizations, they seemed to have a good understanding of the lecture contents overall. They also showed much eagerness to utilize what they learned about industrial relations and labour-management practices in Japan, and from examples of efforts to ensure employment stability and so on through the building of constructive industrial relations, in activities in their own countries.

In their visit to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the participants received a lecture on issues that were thought to be of interest to them in light of the labour situation in their countries and asked questions on such topics as the content of industrial disputes and measures to counter death by overwork (karoshi).

In their visit to an industrial federation of trade unions, the participants visited Joho Roren (Federation of Information and Communication Technology Service Workers of Japan), where they heard about its organization and activities. The participants asked many questions about its specific efforts toward organization expansion.

In the regional program, the participants visited the Ehime labour bank branch, RENGO Ehime, the Hello Work Matsuyama public employment security office, and Iseki Matsuyama Mfg., Ltd., a maker of agricultural machinery, where the trade union is affiliated with the Japan Association of Metal, Machinery, and Manufacturing Workers (JAM). They engaged in lively discussions at each place.

The action plans proposed by the participants included the following:
---Want to establish a financial institution similar to the labour banks in Japan. (Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia)
---Want to establish a labour-management consultation system by the first quarter of 2019. (Nigeria)
---Want to introduce an annual spring labour struggle by the first quarter of 2019. (Nigeria)
---Want to establish a national medical insurance system. (South Africa)
---Want to understand the current state of the unorganized sector by around April–July 2019 and promote organization. (Tanzania, Zambia)
---Want to establish support facilities for the unemployed like Japan’s Hello Work offices and in particular improve the youth unemployment rate. (Tanzania)
---Want to enact and implement legislation and adopt measures to prevent government interference in trade union activities. Upon returning home, will immediately share information with national center members. (Zambia)
---Want to establish a forum for labour-management dialogue within two years of returning home. (Zambia)

List of Cooperating Organizations

Joho Roren: The Federation of Information and Communication Technology Service Workers of Japan (ICTJ)RENGO Ehime
Hello Work MatsuyamaIseki Matsuyama Mfg., Ltd. (labour and management)

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

Participants receive an explanation of the activities of an industrial federation of trade unions. (Joho Roren)

Participants search job vacancies on a computer. (Hello Work Matsuyama)

Participants visited Iseki Matsuyama Mfg., Ltd. to observe a Japanese workplace environment.