On November 13 and 14, the Japan International Labour Foundation (JILAF) and the Thailand Council of theInternational Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-TC) held a Seminar on Industrial Relations and Labor Policy in the city of Si Racha. A total of 130 people participated in this seminar. (Online participation from Japan)
Day 1 (November 13)
At the beginning of the seminar, JILAF Deputy General Secretary Saito, ITUC-TC representative Ms. Nylanut, Director Sharrow of the Labour Dispute Resolution Bureau (Ministry of Labour), Secretary-General Siriwan of ECOT, Mr. Ariga from ILO, and First Secretary Inomata of the Embassy of Japan in Thailand delivered some opening remarks, and shared the purpose and objectives of the seminar with all participants.
JILAF Deputy General Secretary Saito shared information on the roles and challenges of the labor movement in Japan, as well as measures and efforts to maintain employment in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining that constructive labor-management relations and social dialogue are becoming all the more important due to the difficult circumstances.
Director Sharrow of the Labour Dispute Resolution Bureau shared measures to prevent and resolve labor-management disputes, followed by Ms. Siriwan, Secretary-General of ECOT, who emphasized that in order to prevent and resolve labor-management disputes during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for both employers and employees to consult in good faith and build mutual trust.
Attendees then shared cases of labor-management problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, balancing this with good practices in which problems were thoroughly addressed through constructive labor-management relations. Some attendees commented that this seminar was beneficial for both labor and management, and that they would like to see more participation from the employer side.
Day 2 (November 14)
At the start, JILAF President Nagumo made some opening remarks, expressing his gratitude to the various organizations and participants, followed by a review of the previous day's seminar by the participants.
Ms. Otsuji of ILO then shared the importance of dialogue between labor and management, as well as between government and labor and management, in order to respond to the various changes and resolve issues occurring currently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After this, a group discussion was held on the theme of "Preventing unnecessary labor-management disputes by building constructive labor-management relations during the COVID-19 pandemic." Each group offered a number of positive suggestions, including: "MNCs should better understand Thai culture and ways of thinking, and labor and management should have mutual respect," "Labor and management should deepen the sharing of information with each other," "Labor and management should work together to solve problems through discussion and debate," and "To solve problems, labor and management need to have regular meetings to discuss issues."
In response to these presentations and proposals, Mr. Ariga of the ILO and Mr. Inomata, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Thailand, commented that constructive labor-management relations are all the more important due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while in closing, JILAF Deputy Director General Saito expressed his hope that the proposals presented would be implemented at every workplace starting tomorrow.