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PIA Press Release
2010/02/12

Feature: 15 years plus, Philippine and Japanese trade unions partnership stronger than ever

Manila (12 February) -- A high level delegation of six officials and experts of Japan International Labor Foundation (JILAF) headed by its President and former JTUC-RENGO (largest trade union organization in Japan) President, Mr. Tsuyoshi Takagi, will arrive in the Philippines on February 16 to observe and participate in Trade Union Congress of the Philippines' (TUCP) two national programs on Productivity and Labor Management Cooperation in Davao (February 18-20, 2010) and on Global Financial Crisis (February 22-23, 2010) in Manila.

Mr. Takagi's presence in these programs signifies the strength of partnership between Philippine and Japanese trade unions, who shared amazing years of working together, starting 15 years ago, at a time when inter-country/organizational workers' programs were not common, and where engagement was limited to specific areas or issues.

In an interview with PIA, TUCP General Secretary Ernesto Herrera said, "TUCP's partnership with JILAF spans some 15 years and it is stronger than ever, thanks to JILAF's responsiveness to the challenges facing Filipino workers and their organizations," said Herrera.

"Just as there are many issues confronting Filipino workers, our partnership with JILAF has many facets. We have been partners in our union-to-union programs on productivity and LMC, occupational safety and health, union organizing, HIV and AIDS, Corporate Social Responsibility and other workers welfare programs.

"We are proud of this partnership because it has made real progress and contributions in improving the working life of Filipino workers and their families," added Herrera.

Many things have been achieved, shared, developed and sustained over the last 15 years:

  • Targeted organizing and workplace verification and monitoring in economic zones and strategic industries;

  • Localized resources and tools for trade unions-initiated safety improvements at the workplace;

  • Repository of the knowledge, practices and actual improvements in workplace safety and health; and

  • Localized training modules for various capacity building and education programs on productivity and labor management cooperation, safety and health, HIV-AIDS, corporate social responsibility.

    And as JILAF expands its engagement in other equally important and longer term challenges ---global financial crisis, tools for productivity and labor management cooperation, green jobs and climate change --- Filipino workers and their organizations will once again see greater role in sharing ideas and experiences, tackling issues jointly, in finding common ground and of acting and working together on various workers' issues that will matter for years to come.

    "JILAF has been helping us in setting up institutions and models of trade union strategies for dealing with emerging issues and threats to workers rights and welfare. This is where our focus will be and we thank JILAF for leading the way," Herrera concluded.

    Other JILAF officials and experts including Mr. Shojiro Nishizawa, General Secretary of National Trade Union Productivity Congress, Kenichi Kumagai, JILAF's Deputy Secretary, Yoshiki Ito, Director of JILAF Field Projects Group and Takeru Kato, Officer of JILAF Field Projects Group complete the delegation. (ALF/PIA-Surigao del Norte) [top]

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