From October 25 to November 26, a multinational seminar on the central theme of "Economic and Social Policies and Labor Union Strategies and Actions for a Better Future" was held in an online format in collaboration with the ILO's Bureau for Workers' Activities (ILO-ACTRAV).
The seminar was attended by 57 labor union leaders from the Asia-Pacific region (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, and Sri Lanka).
Programme Manager Harry Cunningham from the ILO-ACTRAV opened the seminar by thanking JILAF and the Japanese government for their continued support and then made the following statement: “The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has placed a very heavy burden on workers. The ILO is also being asked what it should and can offer to workers and labor unions. In order to achieve a better society after COVID-19, it is important to build a social mechanism and for labor unions to be proactively involved in it. In this program, with the cooperation of JILAF, I hope you will learn about this while sharing examples from Japan."
JILAF Advisor Koyama then touched on the fact that the joint seminar with the ILO-ACTRAV has been held continuously since 2010 and stated that "Concerning the question of what labor unions and ourselves should do to achieve Goal 8 of the SDGs, ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all,’ we as JILAF will share the Japanese experience. We hope that this will be helpful for job security and the protection of workers' rights in your own country.”
During the program, JILAF provided three video lectures for e-learning: 1) "Recent Trends in Labor and Social Legislation," 2) "Consultation and Building Collective Labor-Management Relations to Prevent Labor-Management Disputes," and 3) "Labor-Management Relations in Japan from the Management Perspective.” During the webinar, which summarized a week’s worth of training, JILAF also held lectures on the themes of 4) "The State of Labor-Management Relations in Japan and Labor Union Procedures and Actions for Building Healthy Labor-Management Relations During the COVID-19 Pandemic," 5) "Actions and Successes of Japanese Labor Unions Related to Legal Systems and Labor Policies to Address the Adverse Effects of the Corona Disaster on Employment and Wages," 6) "Efforts to Secure a Future of People-Centered Work and Union Efforts to Achieve SDG Goal 8: ‘Both Job Satisfaction and Economic Growth,’” and 7) “The Japanese Labor Union Experience in Promoting Social Protection Through Social Dialogue During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
At the closing ceremony,Programme Manager Harry Cunningham from the ILO-ACTRAV stated that "JILAF's output through this program reaffirmed that this is an important process not only for the participants but also for the ILO. I would like to thank JILAF for the trust they have placed in us and rejoice first and foremost in our partnership.
Tutors of this program also gave their compliments, stating, "All of JILAF’s lectures were excellent. The quality and positivity of the participants' presentations in response to the lectures were also very good. This is one of the most successful ILO-ACTRAV online programs we have ever held.” In closing, Advisor Koyama, on behalf of JILAF, expressed his gratitude to ILO-ACTRAV and gave the following closing statement: "Although the situation in each country is not identical, in this difficult situation, the role of labor unions is extremely important to protect the lives and livelihoods of workers and to ensure that the people's voices are properly reflected in the government's COVID-19 measures. The tribulations will still continue, but we must remember never to give up and to keep hope alive, and we should encourage each other to do our best.”