ITUC OnLine – September 3, 2010

TOKYO:  Japanese Prime Minister Backs Call for APEC Labour Forum  

Tokyo, 3 September 2010 (ITUC OnLine): In a meeting today with a delegation of the ITUC Asia Pacific Labour Network (APLN), Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan stated that he would make his best efforts to achieve agreement on establishing a Labour Forum to enable trade union representation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

The Japanese Prime Minister said that in his capacity as host of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Yokohama, Japan, on November 13-14, he would approach other governments to achieve their support for a Labour Forum, and would work to ensure decent work was promoted throughout the APEC region.

“For too long, there has been a basic injustice in the APEC structure that gives business every opportunity to influence decisions through the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) but no such channel to trade unions and the workers of APEC that we represent,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.  “It is time to end that injustice, and we commend the Prime Minister on his support for our position.”

The Prime Minister further agreed with the trade union delegation that economic stimulus must remain the priority to address the global economic crisis, and said Japan would maintain its own fiscal boost even though European Union countries were starting to advocate a premature exit strategy. He added that Japan would take measures to reduce the level of precarious work, and that all countries should do the same.

The trade union delegation was led by JTUC-RENGO President Nobuaki Koga, who presented the Prime Minister with the ITUC/APLN’s Statement to the APEC Leaders’ Meeting, entitled “Beating the Crisis, Involving Working People and Realising Decent Work”.

To see the Statement of the ITUC Asia Pacific Labour Network To the 2010 APEC economic leaders’ meeting in english;  in Spanish.   To see the Photo Gallery of the meeting click here.    

The ITUC represents 176 million workers in 156 countries and territories and has 312 national affiliates.

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