8th. UNI Apro East Asia Trade Unions Forum
“The Future of Work, We Decide”
16 – 17 October 2019, Seoul, South Korea
Joint Declarations and Recommendations
Building Partnerships to Manage Change
The 8th UNI Apro East Asia Trade Unions Forum hosted by the UNI KLC Korea was convened in Seoul on 16-17 October 2019.
The participants at the Forum with the theme “The Future of Work, We Decide” agreed that we must decide and can decide - if the trade unions are united, agile and responsive to the challenges and opportunities in the future of work driven by the wave of digital transformation.
During the Forum, the participants and resources persons have exchanged information, shared experiences and best practices to deal with a complex world that is increasingly affected by digitisation.
The Forum acknowledged the depth of the technological revolution that is shaping the world of work and the world of business in all country and across the region. The revolution, while unleashing disruptive changes in some industries, is also creating opportunities in connecting people and businesses, producing innovations and new jobs, and building the skills and know-how needed for a progressive, cohesive and competitive society.
The Forum emphasised the need for the tripartite social partners of each country to come up with measures to minimise the pains of disruptions, maximise the gains from technological advances, and share the benefits from such advances for the good of the whole community.
The Forum noted that the most successful corporations are those where all the stakeholders sit down together, in particular, the employers/managers and the workers/unions, in sorting out and strategising win-win adjustment tasks. These include information sharing and consultation, cooperation in the crafting and implementation of business and work adjustment, and formulation of job-preservation and job-creation programs for all those affected.
The Forum agreed to recommend the following actions for the tripartite social partners of the East Asia countries to minimise the disruptions and maximise the gains for the businesses and community in embracing the technological revolution:
Enhance social partnership in facing the multi-faceted challenges of the technological revolution. All sectors of society are stakeholders and have a stake in making innovations work not only for the captains of industry but also for the workers and their unions, and the citizenry in general.
Encourage governments to take a leadership role in making cooperation on technology adjustment work. They should be there to provide dialogue facilitation, support training collaboration, and research and advisory assistance on adjustment. Governments must also strive to ensure affordable universal access to a comprehensive education-skilling program that promotes life-long learning for the workers and the citizenry.
Strengthen the cooperation between and among the government, industry and the unions to develop and strengthen the supporting institutions and programs needed to develop the skills and capacities of the workers as they adjust to the skills and knowledge challenges of technological adjustments and as they move in and out of work arrangements affected by technological changes.
Facilitate sustained dialogue between and among the social partners. The ongoing and virtually ceaseless technological revolution means sustained and secured information data sharing, sustained consultation and sustained discussion on what is best for the industry, for workers and for society and what is the right and balanced approach in all of this.
Campaign for the institutionalisation of policy for partnership and social dialogue at all levels – enterprise, industry, national and regional. Subjects for dialogue and collaboration are unlimited; but in particular, they should cover job enrichment and redesign, skilling and re-skilling, job placement and job creation, productivity improvements and gains/pains sharing.
Propagate a regional and global digital social compact that promote social inclusion, balanced development and sustainable growth and just transition for all.
Remind the government to adopt the policy regulation framework on Industry 4.0 anchored on relevant international labour standards. In this connection, all economic and technological adjustments in the future world of work must ensure that no one will be left behind.
The Forum participants:
Welcome the participation of a delegation from UNI Mongolia Liaison Council that is participating for the first time at the Forum.
Extend solidarity for Hong Kong People's fight for democracy and hope a peaceful resolution
Acknowledge with appreciation the warm hospitality extended by the UNI KLC Korea under the leadership of Sister Na Sun Ja, President UNI KLC and KHMU Korea and commend the UNI KLC for the excellent preparations and hard work to make the Forum a grand success and memorable one for all.
Reiterate the value of the annual dialogue afforded by the annual gathering of the UNI Apro East Asia affiliates, particularly in deepening the mutual understanding, respect and friendship between the participating organisations and their country.
Resolve to continue dialogue and discussions on issues of common concern to overcome challenges confronting each organization and their country collectively.
Record our gratitude to Christopher Ng who will be retiring as the Regional Secretary at the end of this year, after more than forty-two years of dedicated services to the global trade union movement and guidance to the UNI Apro East Asia Trade Unions Forum.
Endorse his and the UNI Apro Management Committee’s recommendation to elect Rajendra Kumar Acharya, Assistant Regional Secretary as the UNI Apro Regional Secretary at the 5th UNI Apro Regional Conference to be held in Kathmandu on 20 – 22 November 2019.