CTUM/JILAF Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in Myanmar

Group photo of seminar participants

JILAF, together with the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM), held a two-day industrial relations and labour policy seminar in the Hlaingtharyar Industrial Zone on the outskirts of Yangon on December 17–18. The seminar was attended by a total of 109 persons, including representatives of Myanmar’s government, employers, and labour; it was also covered by 10 people from the media in Myanmar.

On the first day of the seminar, speaking on behalf of the organizers, CTUM President Maung Maung delivered an opening address, and next JILAF President Hiroyuki Nagumo explained the purpose and objectives of the seminar. Addresses were also given by First Secretary Yuta Isozaki of the Japanese Embassy in Myanmar, Deputy Director General Tin Ko Ko Naing of the Department of Labour Relations at Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population, and Central Executive Officer Thet Naing Oo of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).

In particular, speaking on behalf of the Japanese government, First Secretary Isozaki expressed his delight that representatives of the government, labour, and management in Myanmar were gathered together under the same roof and his gratitude that connections between trade unions were functioning as a deep bond between Japan and Myanmar. He strongly urged the participants, through this seminar, to build constructive industrial relations in a way that was suitable for Myanmar.

In the first lecture, JILAF Deputy Secretary General Kenji Niizuma shared information on the current labour situation and issues in Japan, the legislative system supporting Japan’s constructive industrial relations, and the objectives and role of trade unions. JILAF Field Project Group Member Yamaguchi then introduced specific examples of labour-management consultations. The participants asked about such issues as what specifically labour and management should do to improve productivity. JILAF Field Project Group Member Yamaguchi gave thoughtful replies, thereby gaining the participants’ understanding and empathy.

Next, representatives of the Myanmar government, employers, and workers shared their thoughts and opinions on workplace issues and so on.

On the second day, with CTUM Central Executive Committee Member Khaing Zar serving as moderator, the participants discussed the present situation and issues in workplaces in Myanmar and shared information on the importance of promoting labour-management communication and social dialogue for the building of constructive industrial relations. Explanations were given of the legislative revision in June 2019 to prevent industrial disputes, the importance of written contracts between labour and management, and the importance of labour and management having mutual respect and building intense relations.

The participants then divided into groups for group discussions, followed by presentations, on action to be taken for the building of constructive industrial relations. Lively discussions followed the presentations, and in general the participants confirmed the need to respect each side’s standpoint. Comments and advice were heard from the labour side, the government, JILAF, and the CTUM.

In the closing ceremony, JILAF President Nagumo expressed his gratitude for the cooperation of the seminar participants and stressed the importance of trade unions winning trust. Since employers cannot ignore trade unions that are trusted by society and the community, he said, the CTUM should strive to be an organization that influences not only trade union members but all working people. JILAF President Nagumo went on to say that he believed the seminar participants, including representatives of the government and employers, would contribute to Myanmar’s national building and declared that JILAF would continue to support Myanmar’s development together with the CTUM.

Finally, CTUM President Maung Maung expressed his gratitude for JILAF’s support relating to the success of the seminar and continued development of human resources. At the same time, he also raised the issue of long working hours in Myanmar and expressed his determination that the CTUM would proceed with efforts to tackle the problem. CTUM President Maung Maung ended the seminar by confirming his belief that, amid the advance of globalization, organizations would promote the solution of issues with independence and initiative.


12/17TueSeminar day 1
12/18WedSeminar day 2

Photos of the Participants

Address by CTUM President Maung Maung

Address by JILAF President Hiroyuki Nagumo

Scene of the seminar