JILAF, together with the Pakistan Workers’ Federation (PWF), jointly held two industrial relations and labour policy seminars in Islamabad on December 11–12, 2020, and January 15–16, 2021. The seminars were attended by a total of 74 senior officials of PWF-affiliated unions, including former PWF General Secretary Zahoor Awan and new executives of the PWF appointed in a reshuffle in December. (Participation from Japan was online.)
At the opening ceremony, former PWF General Secretary Awan, who is also labour director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), expressed his gratitude for the continued cooperation from JILAF and the Japanese government and commented, “Precisely in these severe conditions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, let us study industrial relations in Japan and other topics and have a serious discussion about what the PWF can implement.” In addition, a written message was received from Mr. Kensuke Ishii, counsellor of the Japanese Embassy in Pakistan, who praised the PWF’s contribution over many years to Pakistani society as a whole and added, “Through constructive industrial relations, I hope that you can improve the environment surrounding Pakistani workers and achieve economic development.” An address was also given by JILAF Director General Takayuki Yagi, who said, “Amid international competition, it is important to raise the value of labour and to develop human resources for this purpose. And to develop society and the economy through these efforts, the soundness and strengthening of workplace-based industrial relations are essential.”
In the opening lecture, after mentioning measures in Japan to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on employment, JILAF Director General Yagi spoke about the role and issues of trade unions, sharing information mainly on efforts to build constructive industrial relations and prevent pointless industrial disputes, as well as the historical background. A lively question-and-answer session followed.
In the second half of the first day and the second day of the seminar, former PWF General Secretary Awan suggested ways of realizing decent work and implementing measures on the labour side amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and group discussions followed with lively discussions.
In the closing ceremony, former PWF General Secretary Awan delivered a wrap-up comment, and then newly appointed PWF General Secretary Yaseen Ahmed gave an address. JILAF Director General Yagi ended the seminar by saying, “The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing, so I wish for the good health of PWF members and your families and for an end to the pandemic as quickly as possible in the whole of Pakistan.”