ITUC-CC/JILAF Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in Cambodia

Group Photo

 JILAF held a two-day industrial relations and labour policy seminar in Phnom Penh on July 29–30 jointly with the Cambodian Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-CC). The seminar was attended by 62 people from the three national centers affiliated with the ITUC-CC, namely, the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions (CCTU), Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU), and Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC).

 The main themes of the seminar were the role of trade unions toward the stabilization and expansion of employment and the improvement of living standards and the role of trade unions in an age of globalization. Amid the rapid economic growth of Asian countries, discussions focused on such topics as the importance of building constructive industrial relations and the prevention of meaningless industrial disputes.

 At the opening ceremony, addresses were given by the special guests at the seminar, Secretary of State Mom Vannak of the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and Secretary Yohei Nakajima of the Japanese Embassy in Cambodia. After the opening ceremony, the three organizations affiliated with the ITUC-CC gave presentations on their current activities and issues. All of them stressed the importance of constructive industrial relations through labour-management dialogue and reported that they were in the process of building good relations.

 Next, JILAF Executive Director Takao Yasunaga gave a lecture titled “Japanese Industrial Relations and the Role of Trade Unions,” in which he shared information about the activities and role of trade unions based on constructive industrial relations, including the structure of Japanese trade unions, the functions of collective bargaining and labour-management consultations, efforts to promote employment stability, and the mechanism of the annual spring labour struggle for a better life.

 On the second day Mr. Noun Rithy, a labour rights consultant, delivered a practical lecture on the importance of teamwork and the necessity of internal communication as soft skills required for the building of constructive industrial relations. After that, Mr. Teruhiko Sekiguchi, director of the JILAF Thailand Office, gave a talk titled “The Response of Trade Unions after Inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community,” in which he explained conditions in Cambodia using data relating to employment and labour in the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and spoke about such topics as the recent flow of migrant workers over the border into Thailand.

 Next, the participants divided into six groups for group discussions on assigned themes, in which they discussed solutions in connection with constructive industrial relations. The six themes were as follows:
---“What are constructive industrial relations?”
---“Dispute resolution and how to reach settlements through arbitration”
---“How to enable easier registration/extension with the Ministry of Labour”
---“How to eliminate short-term contracts”
---“How to effectively promote company inspections”
---“Merits and demerits of extending memorandums of understanding to comply with arbitration results”
The closing ceremony was attended by the vice-president of the CCTU and the acting president of the CCU, who expressed their gratitude to JILAF, stressed the significance of the seminar, and encouraged especially the young generation to make efforts toward the building of constructive industrial relations.

 Finally, wrapping up the seminar, JILAF Executive Director Yasunaga stated that in view of the unexpectedly rapid speed of technological progress, it is possible that ways of working will change dramatically in the future. Accordingly, he said, drafting new plans in combination with employment and considering the creation of new jobs were also a part of constructive industrial relations. By improving the skills of workers and raising productivity, labour and management could channel investment into not only buildings and equipment but also people. Rather than pointing out their differences, he said, the national centers should start with what they can do together.


07/29SatSeminar day 1
07/30SunSeminar day 2

Photos of the Participants

Opening ceremony

Lecture by JILAF Executive Director Yasunaga

HP3 Group discussion