South America Team

JILAF invited a total of 11 persons from four South American countries to visit Japan from January 19 to February 1.The participants in the two-language program consisted of five persons from Portuguese-speaking Brazil and six persons from Spanish-speaking Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela. All of the participants were cheerful and outgoing, and communication among them was very lively as well. At the lectures and places visited, they all positively asked many questions and earnestly studied about Japan’s constructive industrial relations and other topics.

In the lectures and visits in the first half of the program, wide-ranging questions and opinions were put forth on such issues as the thinking behind seniority-based wages, the disadvantageous treatment of trade union officials, reasons for the declining organization rate and countermeasures, the trilateral consultation system, political activities, and the scope of application of labour agreements.

In the visit to RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) in particular, the participants deepened their understanding of Japan’s spring labour struggle system, with RENGO General Secretary Rikio Kozu giving a detailed explanation of the necessity and importance of the spring labour struggle, RENGO’s policy for the 2014 spring struggle, and the process up to settlements. In discussions after the talk, a participant from Colombia explained the conditions of trade union officials in that country. “In Colombia,” the participant said, “an extremely large number of trade union leaders are killed, and many activists suffer threats and attempted murder. However, the criminals are acquitted without being properly punished.”

In the industrial federation lecture, cooperation was received from Unyu Roren (All Japan Federation of Transport Workers’ Unions). The participants heard a wide-ranging explanation of such issues as efforts to improve the organization rate, positive publicity activities for union members, efforts to ensure safety, and work introduction (union activities) for senior high school students. The participants showed a lot of interest in this work introduction for students, and some of them remarked that they would like to consider the implementation of such activities in their own country.

In the regional RENGO Gifu program, discussions covered such topics as the organization rate, the political activities of a regional RENGO branch, and the problem of nonregular workers. The participants heard that, partly because of the large number of small and medium-sized enterprises in its membership, RENGO Gifu’s organization rate is about 5% below the national average, as well as about countermeasures targeting young people aimed at improving the organization rate. Regarding political activities, they asked many questions about specific methods of support, cooperation after elections, and so on.

In the visit to a Hello Work employment office, discussions covered such topics as criteria and conditions for the payment of employment insurance and education and training for foreign workers. There are many foreign workers from such countries as Brazil and China living in the area under the jurisdiction of Hello Work Ogaki, which the participants visited this time, and it has a special counter for foreigners, as well as a permanent Portuguese-speaking staff member. This visit was extremely interesting for the South American participants.

In the final closing ceremony, the participants commented on such things as the strong sense of union membership among Japanese union members, the strict attitude of the Japanese toward time, and their sincere wish for world peace.

List of Organization That Cooperated in the Visit

RENGO GifuUnyu Roren
Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd.Pajero Manufacturing Workers’ Union
Hello Work Ogaki

Many thanks to everyone.

South America Team Participants

Confederacion de Trabajadores de Colombia (CTC)

1.NameMs. Gladys Smith Jaimes Walteros
 Name of organizationJunta Directiva Nacional CTC
 Union experience8

Confederacion de Trabajadores de Colombia (CTC)

2.NameMr. Paola Andrea Herrera Medina
 Name of organizationCTC Seccional Valle Fenaser
 PositionSecretaria Asuntos Internacional Secretaria 
 Union experience3

Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile(CUT)

3.NameMs. Natalia Paulina Garrido Urzua
 Name of organizationAsociacion de Funcionarios Servicio Nacional de Geologia Mineria
 Union experience1

Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile(CUT)

4.NameMr. Pedro Pablo Sandoval Castro
 Name of organizationCentral Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile(CUT)
 PositionDirector Nacional
 Union experience16

Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile(CUT)

5.NameMs. Carola Luz Salas Gomez
 Name of organizationSindicato Nacional Homecenter Sodimac
 Union experience4

Confederacion de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CTV)

6.NameMs. Yamileth Calanche Mendoza
 Name of organizationConfederacion de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CTV)
 PositionMiembro del Consejo
 Union experience14

Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT)

7.NameMr. Daniel Machado Gaio
 Name of organizationCentral Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT)
 PositionDirector Exectivo
 Union experience10

Forca Sindical (FS)

8.NameMr. Raul Erlon Candido
 Name of organizationForca Sindical (FS)
 PositionMember of the National Board
 Union experience20

Uniao Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT)

9.NameMr. Luiz Gustavo de Padua Walfrido Filho
 Name of organizationUniao Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT)
 PositionYouth Secretary
 Union experience6

Uniao Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT)

10.NameMs. Josineide de Camargo Souza
 Name of organizationUniao Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT)
 PositionUGT's formation secretary
 Union experience24

Uniao Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT)

11.NameMs. Neila Tatiane Nogueira Duarte Costa
 Name of organizationUniao Geral dos Trabalhadores (UGT)
 PositionExecutive Secretary of UGT Rio de Janeiro
 Union experience7

Photos of Participants

Visit to the RENGO Headquarters

Industrial federation lecture (Unyu Roren)

At Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

At Hello Work Ogaki

Plant visit to Pajero Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Lecture (Zenrosai)