English-Speaking Africa Team

The English-Speaking Africa Team visited Japan from August 18 (Sunday) to 31 (Saturday).

Visit to the RENGO Headquarters

Eleven persons (of whom three were women) from six countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia) participated in the visit from August 18 to 31 and completed all the programs according to schedule.

Probably because many of the participants held important posts in their organizations, in general they showed a high level of understanding of the lectures and a keen enthusiasm to utilize what they learned about Japan’s industrial relations, labour-management practices, and efforts to achieve employment stability through the building of constructive industrial relations in their own activities back home.

Since the participants shared a common language in English and came from the same region, they also deepened their mutual understanding of the labour situation, trade union activities, and so on in their respective countries in a very congenial atmosphere.

In their visit to an industrial trade union federation, the participants visited Jichiro (All-Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers’ Union), where they received a lecture on the organization’s structure, basic campaign philosophy, and activities. They showed much interest in the industrial federation’s original educational system and efforts to expand organization, and the question-and-answer session was lively.

In the regional program, they visited RENGO Kanagawa, Hello Work Yokohama, Yokohama City Government, the Yokohama Branch of the Chuo Labour Bank, and the Keihin Factory of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation. Lively discussions took place at all these places.

The following were the main action plans proposed by the participants:
---“Organization of contract employees (15,000 persons) working in the public sector” (Ghana)
---“I want to make efforts to revise labour law so that it is possible to obtain data (financial statements, etc.) necessary for wage negotiations.” (Ghana)
---“Organization of informal-sector workers within one year” (Kenya)
---“I want to hold seminars on the labour movement to increase awareness of trade unions.” (Nigeria)
---“I want to utilize knowledge learned at JILAF (collective bargaining skills) to solve labour problems in my own organization.” (Nigeria)
---“I want to propose to the head of our productivity center that the introduction of kaizen activities is essential for improving productivity.” (South Africa)
---“I want to compile a manual on organization and collective bargaining by mid-September 2019.” (Tanzania)
---“I want to hold a seminar for affiliated unions on the introduction of a check-off system by early November 2019.” (Tanzania)
---“I want to identify the weak points in our organization (productivity, social security system, etc.) and make improvements.” (Zambia)

List of Cooperating Organizations

JichiroRENGO Kanagawa
Hello Work YokohamaChuo Labour Bank Yokohama Branch
Keihin Factory of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (labour and management)

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

A visit to Jichiro to learn about the activities of an industrial federation

Viewing job-vacancy search by computer at Hello Work Yokohama

Inspecting and discussing the workplace environment in Japan at the Keihin Factory of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation