Statement and Action Plan of the Asian Regional Trade Union Solidarity Conference

Building New Trade Union Initiatives for the new circumstances of labor.

The globalisation and regionalizing trends of capitalism provide capital with the right to restructure in the interest of higher profitability, while leveling down the security, working standards, and wages of workers. The repression of democratic Trade Unions has been globalised in the interests of economic liberalization, export processing zones, bi-lateral and regional free trade agreements, and the WTO.

In the name of competition, extreme exploitation of workers in one country is used as the benchmark to produce extreme exploitation in all countries. This is achieved by the threat to relocate production unless workers make the necessary concessions that undermine Trade Union rights, social and economic rights. Thus workers should understand that national level struggle should be linked to international struggle. We should also understand our own governments are the agents of neoliberalism and imperialism.

The capitalist world over, in particular transnational corporations are the most powerful actors and biggest beneficiaries of neo-liberal globalisation. They use their enormous power to intervene in the formulation of national economic, social, and labor policies, by taking advantage of neo-liberal rules and disciplinary measures, by depriving the workers of Trade Union Rights. The driving force of TNCs is profit maximization and shareholder interests. In doing this, they do not respect national history, culture, and human/labor rights. In this process TNCs are the hidden force behind the direct attack on Trade Unions. They achieve this power through the threat of withdrawing investments. Thereby creating conditions of competition between workers that leads to declining wages and job security.

In this changed context, we need to reposition our unions and indeed build new Trade Union initiatives that should also be global in its orientation.

Asian workers must organise struggles against the globalisation of neoliberalism, and militarism that supports it. This includes the following tasks:

A.We will strengthen the joint response of Trade Unions against the transnational corporations, which imposes the 'race to the bottom', ignores basic rights for workers, and spreads casual labour. For this urgent common response, we will organise various activities, such as sharing information, joint campaigns, and so on. Furthermore, we will unionise those workers in transnational corporations and their subsidiaries, and struggle for the right to strike and for collective bargaining beyond borders. In this context, we need to strengthen transnational Trade Union networks, and explore more effective strategies and means against TNCs.

B.We will strengthen the joint response against the regional or bilateral free trade agreements, as well as the WTO. These regional bilateral pacts are no more than mechanisms that reproduce neoliberal rules, that give the TNCs enormous power.

C.We oppose the casualisation, contractualization, informalisation and outsourcing of labour.

D.We oppose all forms of gender-based discrimination and place great importance in ending gender discrimination in wages and working conditions.

E.We oppose all privatisation. We recognize that privatisation is a mechanism to transfer public goods and resources into the hands of private corporations. We will also struggle for the utilization of basic resources, public goods, and services in a direction which serves the people's interests.

F.We will demand that all rights be guaranteed for migrant workers, for the extreme conditions of migrant workers are the product of neo-liberal globalization which increases trends to increase poverty, expand sexual and slave exploitation of women and children, thereby increasing the ranks of migrants on the worldwide, and continental level.

G.We will struggle against US militarism that destroys third world countries and deprives the lives of innocent civilians to defend the neo-liberal globalisation, as is shown in the invasion of Iraq. That is, we will struggle against the ever-growing reactionary-conservative political regimes and militarism to impose neo-liberal globalisation. Especially, we are against US aggression and occupation of Iraq, and we will struggle in solidarity against the movements of Asian countries like Korea and Japan to send troops to Iraq under growing pressure from the US. We will also strongly oppose the increased militarization of East and Southeast Asia. We are opposed to all U.S. bases in the region.

H.In the Korean peninsula and East Asian region, neo-liberal globalisation is inter-locked with the military hegemony of US imperialism. We will struggle against the war drive and Missiles Defence build-up by the US, for peace on the Korean peninsula, and a nuclear-free zone in Asia. Democratic Trade Unions in the regions should campaign against nuclear buildup in Asia.

I.We oppose the introduction of terrorism laws. These laws are so broadly formulated that they can be used against the leadership of legitimate, open, and public trade union activities.

J.For the effective implementation of the above-mentioned tasks and objectives, we will build and strengthen the Asian workers' network. Its purposes should be to facilitate the discussion and debate among Asian trade union movements, to enhance exchanges and solidarity, and to strengthen militant trade union movements. And in order to cope with the disasters of neo-liberalism and militarism, we need to build a broader solidarity with social, and popular movements, based on the development of trade unions. This solidarity will be the one of the priorities that the Asian workers' network will pursue.

K.In order to put into practice the above-mentioned tasks, we will take advantage of the following opportunities:
- The SIGTUR Forum, which is to be held during the World social
Forum in India in January 2004, will be an opportunity to discuss
the issues that are put on the agenda in this conference
- The Tricontinental Trade Union Conference, which is to be held in
2004 by the trade unions from Asia, Africa, and Latin America,
will provide a chance to discuss the perspectives and strategic
orientation of the third world labor movement. This forum for the
strategy of Asian trade unions will discuss concrete action
programs to further unity and solidarity.
- The Bangkok Assembly of the SIGTUR, which is to by held in
November 2004, will discuss the relationship between the SIGTUR
and the Asian trade union network.
- Between late 2004 and early 2005, a coordinating office to build
an Asian Workers Network will be established and we will try our
best to organize the Asian Regional Trade Union Solidarity
Conference on at least a bi-annual basis.

L.The following are the action plans of the Asian Regional Trade Union Solidarity Conference:
- To adopt a Joint Statement of Asian Regional Trade Union
Solidarity Conference;
- To publish a May Day Joint Declaration for the year 2004;
- To establish a working group for the systematic response of Asian
trade unions against transnational corporations;
- To organize an Asian Day of action against the war.

Participants in Asian Regional Trade Union Solidarity Conference

- A. K. Padmanbhan (Secretary, CITU, India)
- Andile Sihlahla (Deputy General Secretary, SAMWU, South Africa)
- Arokia Dass (Bangkok SIGTUR Congress Secretariat, Thailand)
- Bishnu Rimal (Secretary General, GEFONT, Nepal)
- Dante Antonio (President, ACT, Philippines)
- Elizabeth Tang (Chief Executive, HKCTU, Hong Kong)
- Elmer Labog (President, KMU, Philippines)
- Floro R. Francisco (Asian Consultant, Labor Organization of Norway,
- H. Mahadevan (General Secretary, AITUC, India)
- Iman Rahmana (Translator, LIPS, Indonesia)
- Itoh Akinobu (National Secretary, All Japanese Dockworkers' Union,
- Katarina Pujiastuti (International Relation Officer, FNPBI,
- Mongkol Somkrabuan (Democratic Trade Union Alliance, Thailand)
Nakaoka Motoyaki (Vice President, ZENROKYO, Japan)
- Oupa Bodibe (Secretariat Coordinator, COSATU, South Africa)
- Ploenpit Srisiri (Secretary, Women Workers' Unity Group, Thailand)
- Prangtip Daorueng (Translator, CLIST, Thailand)
- Rob Lambert (Coordinator, Southern Initiative on Globalization and
Trade Union Rights, Australia)
- Somsak Kosaisuk (President, The State Railway Workers' Union of
Thailand, Thailand)
- Tyono (President, SBJ, Indonesia)
- Victor Briz (President, BMP, Philippines)
- Yukio Iwata (Deputy Secretary General, ZENROREN, Japan)
- Zambri Abdul Rahaman (General Secretary, National Union of
Employees in Companies Producing Rubber Products, Malaysia)
Total 99
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99 [KCTU Int'l Symposium] CGIL Responses to Economic Crisis [25] admin 2009.07.09 638311
98 KCTU Flyer for ILC and OECD Forums 2009 [22] admin 2009.07.09 476013
97 [KCTU Int'l Symposium] CUT Responses to Economic Crisis [31] admin 2009.07.09 457748
96 KCTU Brief on Labour Rights Situation in South Korea [20] admin 2009.06.09 439050
95 [ARTUSC] Globalisation and Militarisation [33] KCTU 2004.03.17 332945
94 KCTU Monthly News - June [1047] KCTU 2004.07.20 306477
93 [KCTU Int'l Symposium] COSATU Responses to Economic Crisis [66] admin 2009.07.09 271707
92 KCTU Ploicy Paper on Discrimination against Women Workers [26] admin 2009.07.08 270933
91 The Current Situation of Labor Rights in South Korea [22] KCTU 2009.11.03 264639
90 [KCTU Int'l Symposium] Australia's Responses to Economic Crisis [12] admin 2009.07.09 263745
89 [KCTU Int'l Symposium] KCTU Responses to Economic Crisis [24] admin 2009.07.09 263023
88 ILO CFA 355th Report [20] KCTU 2009.12.08 260463
87 Current Situation of labor issues in Korea [24] KCTU 2009.12.23 258402
86 [Issue Briefing]Criticism of the Revised Law relating to Union Pluralism and the Status of Full-time Union Officials [62] KCTU 2010.01.19 253138
85 International Seminar on the Status of Full-time Trade Union Officials and Global Standards [64] KCTU 2009.12.09 250555
84 Why We Oppose the KORUS FTA - KCTU Position Paper on KORUS FTA [44] KCTU 2011.02.08 244596
83 [KCTU Monthly Newsletter-2010 March] 2010 Directives of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions [13] KCTU 2010.03.30 234719
82 Briefing document for TUAC to OECD/Fundamental Labour Rights in KOREA after Suspension of Special Monitoring Process [11] KCTU 2010.05.13 224836
81 [ARTUSC] The Case of TNCs in Korea [20] KCTU 2003.11.13 221790
80 Joint Statement of Korean Trade Unions on the UNFCCC COP16, Cancun [26] KCTU 2010.12.02 220343
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