RENGO and AFL-CIO Bilateral Consultation Held in Tokyo
28 July 2006
July 25th RENGO/AFL-CIO Consultative meeting(RENGO participants)
July 25th AFL-CIO participants
July 26th Mr. Sweeney lecturing at JIL-PT
On July 25th and 26th, RENGO held a Bilateral Consultative meeting with the delegation from the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organisations) in Tokyo. The two organisations have held regular meetings every two to three years, and this is the first meeting since the fall 2003 meeting three years ago in Washington D.C. In all, eight participants from AFL-CIO were on hand including President John J. Sweeny, Vice President Ron Gettelfinger (UAW President), and Vice President R. Thomas Buffenbarger (IAM President). Attending the meeting from the RENGO side was President Tsuyoshi Takagi, Acting President Yasuo Morikoshi, Vice President Yuji Kato, Vice President Yukio Koide, Vice President Yoshinori Komoda, General Secretary Nobuaki Koga, and some others.
On July 25th, the first day of the meeting, participants exchanged opinions on "Challenges faced by the each of two organizations", "The two organizations’ activities in the area of international labor movement", and "Exchange of opinions on U.S.-Japan bilateral issues."
On the second day(26th), in addition to a meeting between both presidents, UWA President Gettelfinger visited JIDOSHA SOREN (Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions), and IAM President Buffenbarger visited JAM (Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery and Manufacturing Workers' Union) to hold industrial discussions. That afternoon, President Sweeny presented a lecture which was co-organized by the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT) and RENGO on the theme of "Issues and Challenges in the Labor Movement in the US" in front of approximately 150 attendees. These meetings facilitated frank and active exchanges of opinion among both AFL-CIO and RENGO. The discussions enabled participants to deepen their understanding of the other's circumstances, the issues each are tackling and they confirmed that both organisations would further strengthen mutual cooperation in the future.
Prior to the meetings, RENGO and KOMU-ROKYO (Public Service Liaison Council) exchanged opinions in Tokyo on July 24th on the issue of basic labor rights for public sector workers together with AFL-CIO’s European representative Jerry Zellhoefer (and member of the Governing Body of the ILO, and Workers' Group representative on the Committee on Freedom of Association) who was in Japan to attend the above-mentioned RENGO and AFL-CIO Bilateral meeting. Mr. Zellhoefer explained the recommendation of ILO Committee on Freedom of Association issued in March 2006, and RENGO/ KOMU-ROKYO reported on the domestic situation. They also consulted over future activities.