Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in Myanmar (January)

JILAF, together with the Federation of Trade Unions Myanmar (FTUM) and the Yangon Office of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), held an industrial relations and labour policy seminar on January 17-18 aimed at building constructive industrial relations and preventing labour-management disputes. The seminar was attended by a total of 97 people, including officials from Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security.

At the beginning of the seminar, there were opening addresses from representatives of the organizers. JILAF Executive Director Hisashige Danno commented, “This is the first time for us to hold this seminar in Myanmar, which shifted course in 2008 and started heading toward democratization, entering an era in which the people of Myanmar want to settle problems themselves. I will do my best to make this a very meaningful seminar.” FTUM General Secretary Maung Maung then remarked, “Through this seminar, we will seek to build good industrial relations emphasizing dialogue.” And General Secretary Noriyuki Suzuki of the ITUC-AP (the Asia-Pacific regional organization of the ITUC), who attended the seminar as a guest, said encouragingly, “While strengthening the free, democratic, and independent labour movement, it is important for the government, labour, and management to seek to build a good partnership together. That will support the development of Myanmar.”

Next, in a session titled “The Labour Situation in Myanmar,” trade union officials from four companies, including a textile factory, shared issues involving industrial practices and industrial relations, after which Mr. So Nai, the Counselor of the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security gave an explanation of labour legislation and the ministry’s priority issues.

In a lecture titled “The Improvement of Employment and Living Conditions by Building Sound Labour-Management Relations: The Postwar History of the Japanese Labour Movement and Characteristics of Labour-Management Relations in Japan,” the JILAF speaker outlined an awareness of the situation, including the changes surrounding workers brought about by globalization, and went on to explain that the transformation and experience of industrial relations in Japan were a useful reference for the stabilization of industrial relations in Asian countries today, including Myanmar. There was also a lecture on improvement of the workplace environment, and the participants asked questions about such topics as Japan’s industrial accident compensation system and the role of trade unions in building good industrial relations.

In light of the above, the participants held discussions on improvement of the workplace environment in Myanmar and compiled and presented action plans. The two-day seminar ended with closing addresses from the organizers.

Photos of the Participants

ITUC-AP General Secretary Suzuki makes an opening address.

A trade union official from a textile factory explains the labour situation.

JILAF Executive Director Danno gives a lecture.

Lecture by the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security

The participants compile action plans.

A participant presents her action plan.