KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary

Statement on ILO Recommendation on the Reform of Public Service Legislation   NEW

30 March 2006
Nobuaki Koga, General Secretary
JTUC-RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation)
  1.    With regard to the reform of the Japanese public service legislation (Case No. 2177) alleged by RENGO and the RENGO Public Sector Liaison Council (RENGO-PSLC) in March 2002, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Governing Body, on the afternoon on March 29 (local time) approved a report presented by the Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) in which examined and offered a third recommendation on the state of progress since the past two recommendations.

       This means that the ILO, in the capacity of the Governing Body, approved the conclusions and recommendations by the CFA held on March 16 through 18, and it demonstrates, not only that the ILO continues to be greatly concerned over the labour-management relations systems in the Japanese public sector, but also that the future of public service system reform is no longer limited to mere domestic issues.

  2.    The "recommendation" seeks involved parties to take further, urgent in-depth measures with regard to progress made at the Government-Labour Consultation which reopened on January 16th. Specifically, the recommendation encourages greater effort by all parties concerned so that legislative reform will be agreed upon among the related parties through consultation and without delay. Recommended legislative reforms include:

    [1]granting basic labour rights to public servants;
    [2] granting the right to organize to firefighters and prison staff;
    [3] ensuring that public employees not engaged in the administration of the State have the right to bargain collectively and to conclude collective agreements, and that those employees whose such rights can be legitimately curtailed enjoy adequate compensatory procedures;
    [4] ensuring that those public employees who are not exercising authority in the name of the State can enjoy the right to strike, etc.

       Further, the CFA’s recommendation requests to keep it informed of the information on such issues as: the draft of Administrative Reform Promotion Bill, the final judgment in the Oouda-cho trial (re: cancellation of trade union’s registration), and reorganization on the collective bargaining rights of workers  transferred to independent administrative institutions.

  3.    After the first Government-Labour Consultation, a second Consultation was held on March 20th. Both sides agreed to submit a definite plan at the third Consultation scheduled for May on issues that included the future state of a "place for consideration"(kento no ba) where discussions would take place on the scope of public service workers who would be given fundamental labour rights as well as when the place would be established. Both parties agreed to meet hereon to consult on a practical level to reach their goals.

       The government, however, insists that the "place for consideration" does not presuppose that fundamental labour rights will be granted to public service employees and maintains that they want discussions to proceed from a neutral standpoint. Obviously, this shows that the government is not taking the ILO’s repeated recommendations seriously. This time the government should place more weight to the recommendation and should carry out the reform that clearly states that basic labour rights would be granted as discussed at the Government-Labour consultation.

  4.    RENGO would like to express its sincere appreciation once again for the support given by the international labour movement from organizations such as the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) which filed the complaints jointly with RENGO. As a representative of the Japanese labour movement, RENGO will focus all of its effort through the "place for consideration",  to bring about a fair and democratic public service system that will meet such ILO standards as reorganization on the basic labour rights for public service employees.