JILAF invited a total of five persons from India, Malaysia, and the Philippines to visit Japan from October 20 to 26.
Since this was a Special invitation team, as well as the usual labour-related lectures, an "Exchange of Views on Labour Situation" meeting was held as a forum for sharing information. JILAF Senior Advisor Yoshio Takahashi served as coordinator. In this meeting, not only did the participants report information they wanted to convey, but also JILAF and the audience members were able to obtain information that they sought. The participants delivered reports on the situation in their respective countries, such as economic and social conditions, labour-management relations, and the labour environment, and lively discussions and information sharing took place among them and the Japanese participants.
The report from India covered such topics as the state of collective bargaining and the increase in the number of nonregular workers as a result of globalization. An explanation was also given about efforts to improve labour-management relations, including moves to ratify International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions. The report from Malaysia covered such topics as economic development and the income gap and the problem of multinational corporations. It was noted in particular that labour-management relations in multinational corporations are a major issue for workers and that the Malaysia Trade Union Congress (MTUC) is concerned about such matters as noncompliance with law and relations with the government. The Malaysian participant also explained the minimum wage system implemented from 2013 and expressed expectations of this scheme. The participant from the Philippines reported on such topics as the function of grievance committees in resolving labour-management disputes and the importance of social dialogue.
In the exchange of opinions with the floor, questions from the audience and the coordinator focused on the main points of the participants’ reports, and there was a lively discussion about economic and social conditions in the countries concerned, labour-management relations, and the problem of multinational corporations. It was a very meaningful "Exchange of Views on Labour Situation" meeting indeed.
The audience consisted of a wide range of people, including not only trade union representatives but also government officials, company personnel in charge of labour affairs, and university professors. They all seemed to find the meeting extremely beneficial.
In the labour-related lectures, in addition to basic talks delivered by JILAF Executive Shinichi Hasegawa and Senior Advisor Takahashi, Assistant General Secretary Kenichi Kumagai gave a lecture titled "Economic Development and Labour Movement Issues in Asia," focusing on problems relating to Asia. This was followed by a lively exchange of information on issues facing the labour movement and future problems.
In the industrial federation lecture, the participants received an explanation of the campaign policy of Jidosha Soren (Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers’ Unions) and overseas labour-management disputes involving Japanese automakers. Regarding labour-management disputes in particular, a detailed report was given of the process from the outbreak of a problem to settlement, and information was shared with all of the participants.
Since this was a reinvitation team, all of the participants had an extremely positively attitude and were clearly keen about efforts to build constructive labour-management relations and organization-strengthening activities.
Many thanks to everyone.