Asia Pacific Regional Committee Approves Regional Action Plan and Solidarity Campaigns

14 October 2018 10:21

The Asia-Pacific Regional Committee which met on 28 September 2018 in Tokyo, Japan following a series of activities related to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, approved a regional action plan that outlined ambitious targets such as organising 10,000 workers on infrastructure projects, establishing 100 local occupational safety and health committees led by workers across the region, and providing vocational skills training for women workers in a number of key countries. 

“The Asia-Pacific region is clearly on the move, and we are glad to see unions setting such an ambitious agenda of work for themselves over the coming years”,  said Tolentino. 

In his welcoming remarks, BWI Deputy President and IG-BAU Vice Chair Dietmar Schaefers noted the militancy of trade unions in the region, stating, “The Asia Pacific is a region, where trade unions are organizing, mobilizing, and fighting back.  This energy and commitment have garnered enormous respect from unions throughout the world.”

During the meeting, a number of key trade unions struggles throughout the region were presented. One was of the West Mebun temple restoration workers in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The Committee agreed to launch a solidarity campaign to support these workers.  

“The struggle of the West Mebun temple restoration workers to preserve the benefits that they have already fought for and won is an important struggle not only for Cambodians, but throughout the region, and we’re proud to support them in their pursuit of their basic trade union rights,” said BWI Asia-Pacific Vice President and CFMEU Construction National Secretary Dave Noonan.  

The Regional Committee meeting also provided an opportunity to explain the regional proposal to establish youth representation with the BWI’s formal structures. “Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region have large youth populations; it’s critical that young workers are organised into BWI unions to guarantee the future of our movement,” stated Dayang rosmawatye Salleh of STIEU who was appointed by the youth participants at the Manilla Youth Summit this past August.

The day before the Asia Pacific Regional Women’s Committee (RWC) also met, where the discussion focused on proposed amendments to regional bylaws that to meet the BWI’s target of 30% women’s representation in BWI’s structures. RWC-AP Chair and KFCITU Vice President Kim Kyung Shin noted that, “the RWC agreed to support the adoption of the Regional Action Plan and focused must of the discussion on the implementation of Convergence 4---Gender Equality--- of the Strategic Action Plan.  In addition, we called for a regional campaign to stop gender-based violence in the work place and in the communities.”

In closing the meeting, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson stated, “Asia-Pacific is a key growth area for the BWI, and the membership growth that we have seen in the region is a cause for celebration”, said BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson.