ITUC-CC/JILAF Seminar on Industrial Relations (IR) and Labour Policy in Cambodia

Greetings from Deputy Secretary General Saito during the opening ceremony

On November 24, 2021, the Japan International Labour Foundation (JILAF), together with the Cambodian Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-CC), held an online seminar on industrial relations (IR) and labour policy with participants in Phnom Penh. In total, there were seventy four participants in attendance.

At the opening ceremony, JILAF Deputy Secretary General Toshihiro Saito, CAMFEBA General Manager, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Cambodia Masayuki Izumi (delivered by JILAF), CCU President, CCTU President, CLC President, and Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training expressed their hopes for the seminar to contribute to employment stability and the building of constructive industrial relations in Cambodia.

In addition, they also made opening remarks about matters such as the necessity of cooperation between the government, labour and management for economic recovery after COVID-19.
Next, CCTU, CCU and CLC made presentations on employment security and constructive industrial relations, in which the following were confirmed.
CCTU: During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers (especially female company employees and young company employees who are considered "high-risk workers") are being treated unequally and unfairly, while the law restricts trade unions from acting freely, high competition exists between trade unions, and unionisation and collective bargaining are not possible. In order to resolve these issues and to build constructive industrial relations, it is necessary to create a transparent system for conducting tripartite discussions and to promote social dialogue.
CCU: In order to achieve stable employment and constructive industrial relations, it is necessary for the government, labour and management to understand each other's demands and expectations, build partnerships through tripartite discussions, and continue to have mutually effective discourse. In addition, it is also necessary to develop human resources, prevent industrial conflicts, and establish the position of minimum wage that is able to secure the standard of living, etc.
CLC: In order to create good industrial relations, thought should be given to national level development as well as corporate level development. Furthermore, it is also necessary to create a system that allows regular discussions to be held between labour and management in the workplace and between the government, labour and management, and to strengthen the soft skills of the parties concerned through interactions and cooperation with international organisations and external collaborative bodies.
Following this, JILAF Deputy Secretary General Saito explained matters under the theme of “The Role and Issues of the Labour Movement in Japan,” which included (1) the history of the labour movement in Japan, (2) the productivity movement and the three guiding principles of productivity, as well as (3) the spring labour offensive and the labour-management consultation system. Next, JILAF Group Leader Naohiro Tsuji explained (1) legal and institutional measures, (2) trade union policies, and other such initiatives that are being taken to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on employment in Japan.
Afterwards, the participants split off into three groups and had discussions on “The Current Issues Concerning Industrial Relations.” Then, each group gave presentations on matters such as, (1) the need for labour and management to find consensus through thorough discussions due to their differing positions, demands and expectations, (2) the absence of effective social dialogue due to insufficient commitment from the government, labour and management, and the lack of a legal framework, as well as (3) the presence of discrimination between trade unions within corporations, and the lack of a transparent and honest information sharing system and negotiation system between labour and management.
Lastly, JILAF Deputy Secretary General Saito ended the seminar by stating that they would like the ITUC-CC (1) to confront employers without giving up, despite the fact that constructive industrial relations cannot be built overnight, (2) to promote social discourse between the government, labour and management, and (3) to extensively share the knowledge gained from the seminar at each workplace.

Photos of the Participants

ITUC-CC guests

Venue (top left) and JILAF attendees

Venue (group discussions)