Central and South America Team

The Central and South America Team visited Japan from October 20 (Sunday) to November 2 (Saturday) 2019.

Visit to the RENGO Headquarters

Twelve people (including three women) from three countries (Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico) participated from October 20 to November 2 and completed all programs as planned.

In all three participating countries trade unions are facing a very harsh climate, including the revision of labour legislation, the hindrance of trade union activists, and the appearance of anti-trade-union forces due to changes in government. The participants put these difficult conditions aside, however, and took part in the programs in a cheerful and forward-looking manner.

In their visit to an industrial trade union federation, the participants visited the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery, and Manufacturing Workers (JAM), where they heard a lecture on the organization’s structure and activities. In particular, the participants seemed to be very much inspired by the fact that trade unions in small and medium-sized enterprises in Japan actively take up management issues and make policy proposals.

At the Japan Productivity Center, the participants heard an explanation of the three guiding principles of productivity and constructive industrial relations in Japan. The lecture proceeded with a lively exchange of opinions between the speaker and the participants, who greatly deepened their understanding of the contributions of Japanese trade unions to productivity improvement and the three guiding principles of productivity.

In their visit to the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, as well as an outline of the ministry’s organization, the participants received a lecture on such topics as industrial relations and the characteristics of industrial disputes. They showed interest in a wide range of issues, including Japan’s social security system and the problem of death from overwork.

In the regional program, the participants visited the Hello Work Akita public employment security office, RENGO Akita, Akita International University, the Akita Prefecture Government Office, Akita Shurui Seizo Co., Ltd. (a sake brewer), and the Akita Promotional Headquarters of Kokumin Kyosai Coop (National Federation of Workers’ and Consumers’ Kyosai Cooperatives). Lively discussions took place at all the places visited.

The main points of the action plans proposed by the participants were as follows:
---“I will call on our national center to implement information exchange programs with other countries.” (Brazil)
---“I will summarize the contents of what I have learned in these programs, compile a report, and distribute it not only to trade unions in my organization but to trade unions in Caribbean countries as well.” (Brazil)
---“The labour movement and industrial relations are closely linked to that country’s culture. I will begin by introducing Japanese culture to my organization.” (Brazil)
---“I will share what I have learned in Japan in our monthly meeting and also supply information to a wide range of members using social network services.” (Colombia)
---“I will write about what I have learned here about negotiating skills and productivity in our organization’s monthly newsletter.” (Mexico)
---“Japanese trade unions are active in an extremely strategic manner, so I will launch a strategy center in my organization and in particular engage in activities to change the image of trade unions.” (Mexico)

List of Cooperating Organizations

Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery, and Manufacturing Workers (JAM)RENGO Akita
Hello Work AkitaAkita International University
Akita Prefecture Government OfficeKokumin Kyosai Coop Akita Promotional Headquarters
Akita Shurui Seizo Co., Ltd. (labour and management)

Many thanks to everyone.

Photos of the Participants

Online job searching (Hello Work Akita)

Visit to JAM

Participants hear an explanation of the labour situation in Akita Prefecture. (Akita Prefecture Government Office)