JILAF visited Bangkok on April 21 (Saturday) and 22 (Sunday) on the occasion of the fiscal 2018 start in Thailand of the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network), which JILAF is implementing with grants from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare). Discussions focused on annual plans and specific activities based on the fiscal 2018 project policy.
In Thailand, the SGRA project is being conducted in various regions by the Central Promotion Committee, the main policymaking body consisting of representatives of the government, labour, and management in Thailand (the Ministry of Labour, Thai Council of the International Trade Union Confederation [ITUC-TC], and Employers’ Confederation of Thailand [ECOT]), as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO), and, as bodies promoting activities, the Bangkok Working Committee, Chiang Mai Working Committee, Khon Kaen Working Committee, and Surat Thani Working Committee.
In the 1st Central Promotion Committee meeting and 1st Expanded Working Committee meeting, which were held this time, the participants looked back on achievements and issues of the project in fiscal 2017 and held intensive studies and discussions of annual plans and specific activities based on the project policy confirmed at the 2nd Central Promotion Committee meeting on January 20, 2018, the final meeting of fiscal 2017. They confirmed specific activities for the development of the project in fiscal 2018.
In Thailand in the current fiscal year, it is planned to (1) as phase two of the project, reach out to informal-sector workers facing especially difficult conditions (disabled persons, minority ethnic groups, slum dwellers, destitute people, legal migrant workers, Muslim communities, etc.); (2) promote the full independence and autonomy of the project based on SGRA credit unions and spread it throughout the whole of Thailand; (3) strengthen the bridging of network members to vocational training programs run by the government and others; (4) hold job fairs by the employers’ organization to help network members find work and change jobs toward their acquisition of formal status; and (5) coordinate with the government (including encouragement to subscribe under Article 40 of the Thai Social Security Act) and continue cooperation with ILO projects.
In the 1st Expanded Working Committee meeting, there was also a lecture by Japan’s Central Council of Workers’ Welfare (Chuo Rofukukyo) titled “The Workers’ Welfare Movement in Japan,” through which the members of the regional working committees in Thailand deepened their understanding of the efforts of Japan’s workers’ welfare movement and the importance of network building for that purpose. In addition, during this meeting, the committee members split up by region to compile action plans for the current fiscal year, which they then announced to the whole meeting, with JILAF offering pertinent comments on them.
|04/21||Sat||1st Central Promotion Committee meeting|
|04/22||Sun||1st Expanded Working Committee meeting |