English-Speaking Africa Team

JILAF invited 10 persons (including 3 women) from nine organizations in English- speaking African countries to visit Japan from October 16 to 29.

Throughout the program, with reference to problems faced by their own countries, the participants asked lively questions and stated their opinions in the lectures and places visited and learned about the present state of the Japanese labour movement from the perspectives of the government, labour, and management.

In particular, they showed much interest in the organizational structure of RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), the declining unionization ratio and countermeasures, the building of good labour-management relations and labour-management consultations in Japan, measures to settle labour disputes, and efforts to achieve gender equality and related problems.

In the RENGO Tochigi program, the participants visited the Tochigi Prefectural Government Office and held discussions with RENGO Tochigi executives, thereby learning about the efforts of a local government and local organization of RENGO. In addition, they showed much interest in the system for helping job seekers at Hello Work Tochigi and the building of good labour-management relations at the Tochigi Plant of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

In the industrial organization and workplace visit, they went to Koku Rengo (Japan Federation of Aviation Industry Unions), where participants remarked that they wanted to use Koku Rengo’s efforts to organize workers as reference. After that, they inspected a Japan Airlines (JAL) Maintenance Center, where they saw at an actual airplane close at hand and listened intently to an explanation by a mechanic. They were clearly impressed by the strict checks and teamwork of the workers.

In a management lecture by Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the participants actively asked questions about such issues as labour-management relations and the labour-management consultation system in Japan, the distribution of profits, and measures for the settlement of labour disputes.

In the appraisal meeting, the participants made such comments as “I want to use what I have learned through this program to settle problems and build new organizations in my own country.” There were also many comments regarding network building among the participants themselves from now on.

List of Cooperating Organizations

RENGO TochigiTochigi Prefectural Government Office
Hello Work TochigiNissan Motor Co., Ltd. Tochigi Plant
Nissan Motor Workers’ Union Tochigi BranchKoku Rengo (Japan Federation of Aviation Industry Unions)
Japan Airlines (JAL) Maintenance CenterNippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

Labour-related lecture

Visit to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare

Participants report on the labour situation in their countries in the “Exchange of Views on Labour Situation” meeting

In front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima

Visit to Hello Work Tochigi

Discussion with RENGO Tochigi

Visit to Koku Rengo

Visit to the JAL Maintenance Center

Nippon Keidanren lecture