On January 9, 2021, JILAF and the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) jointly held an online industrial relations and labour policy seminar. The seminar was attended by a total of 39 labour-related persons in Myanmar.
At the beginning of the seminar, CTUM President Maung Maung delivered an opening address in which he said, “Little by little the results of efforts since democratization are beginning to be seen. I would like to thank JILAF and the Japanese government for their continued supply of and support for educational opportunities.” JILAF Executive Director Masayuki Shiota then gave an outline of the purpose and objective of the seminar.
Next, JILAF Executive Director Shiota spoke about the role and issues of trade unions in Japan, sharing information on efforts to build constructive industrial relations and prevent pointless industrial disputes, as well as measures on the labour side to combat Covid-19. The participants asked questions on such topics as the desirable form of the annual spring labour struggle amid the Covid-19 pandemic, policy on the social protection of nonregular workers in Japan, and how the results of productivity improvement are distributed. JILAF Executive Director Shiota and JILAF Deputy Secretary General Toshihiro Saito replied to these questions and gained the participants’ understanding.
CTUM executives then introduced examples and reported on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on labour in Myanmar and the state of the manufacturing industry. As well as the state of unemployment due to plant closures, they reported how dismissals by employers on the pretext of Covid-19 were rampant.
At the close of the seminar, CTUM President Maung Maung commented, “The new CTUM executives announced today took part in the JILAF program in the past. Since the JILAF program is playing an important role in the development of human resources in the CTUM, I hope for the continued support of JILAF and the Japanese government from now on.” JILAF Executive Director Shiota then ended the seminar by expressing respect for activities in Myanmar since democratization and adding, “It is important also to make employers aware of the role of trade unions and the need for industrial relations. You should strive to develop industrial relations while recognizing that the interests of labour and management coincide on such matters as productivity improvement. JILAF will spare no effort to support activities for this purpose.”