Constructive Industrial Relations Enhancement and Development Team

A total of 10 persons (of whom 3 were women) from four countries (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) visited Japan from September 29 to October 7.

Report on labour-management efforts based on labour-management equality and autonomy (expanded version of Exchange of Views on Labour Situation meeting)

The Constructive Industrial Relations Enhancement and Development Team comprised senior trade union officials at Japanese companies and factories in countries where the foundations of constructive industrial relations are, relatively speaking, taking root. The aim of the training was to deepen their understanding of the latest information on industrial relations and other issues in Japan and help them to build a human network base toward the strengthening and development of industrial relations.

As well as hearing labour-related lectures to learn about the latest information on Japan’s industrial relations and labour practices, the participants received lectures and engaged in discussions at places visited on the prevention of industrial disputes and the building of constructive industrial relations.

In their visits, the participants heard explanations of the functions of Labour Relations Commissions, the trend of individual industrial disputes, and other issues at the Central Labour Relations Commission; the characteristics of Japanese industrial relations and framework of labour-management dialogue at Jidosha Soren (Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions); and the general work consultation phone service of RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) and an outline of RENGO Union Tokyo, a trade union that even individuals can join, at RENGO Tokyo. After the lectures, the participants engaged enthusiastically in discussions, comparing the situation with that faced by their own organizations.

An expanded version of the Exchange of Views on Labour Situation meeting, titled “Labour-Management Efforts Based on Labour-Management Equality and Autonomy,” was attended by about 40 people. The invited participants reported on specific cases of industrial disputes and the current state of industrial relations in their own countries.

A participant from India spoke about labour problems involving contract workers and the efforts of trade unions to solve labour-management disputes in the automobile industry, and a participant from Indonesia reported on the progress of labour-management negotiations relating to social security. Both of them emphasized especially the importance of labour-management communication.

A participant from Malaysia, meanwhile, reported on the characteristics of industrial disputes occurring in the workplace, and a participant from the Philippines shared the example of industrial disputes arising in auto-parts workplaces. Both of them urged the need for organization strengthening.

On the final day the participants compiled action plans, the main points of which were as follows:
---“Workplace committee members in my organization will take the initiative to hold workshops for trade union members and create opportunities to listen to the requests of members.” (India)
---“I learned that in Japan women have an extremely high awareness of labour problems. In my organization as well, I want to try and improve the social security of child-raising women, for example by including childcare leave in labour agreements.” (Indonesia)
---“As I learned in the JILAF program, when newly recruited workers join the company, I want to explain the merits of joining the trade union to them in an easy-to-understand manner.” (Malaysia)
---“In order to prevent industrial disputes, it is necessary to report to workplace committee members and local executives about the building of sound industrial relations. I want to stress to local executives in particular that labour disputes are not the only option and that importance should be placed on cooperative relations between labour and management.” (Philippines)

List of Cooperating Organizations

Central Labour Relations CommissionJidosha Soren

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

Learning about the building of constructive industrial relations in the automobile industry (Jidosha Soren)

Learning about the mechanism for solving industrial disputes in Japan (Central Labour Relations Commission)

Learning about work consultations and the building of collective industrial relations (RENGO Tokyo)