DECLARATION OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC TRADE UNIONS,
NEW DELHI 9th DECEMBER, 2004.
We, trade unions of Asia-Pacific Region do hereby adopt the following declaration:
“The Trade Unions are facing the challenges posed by the imperialist globalisation, and the Structural Adjustment Programme dictated by the trinity of World Bank, I.M.F and W.T.O. The economic policies based on Free Market economy have only helped the Multinational Corporations and monopolies leading to super profits for the corporate sector and increase in unemployment and poverty. The gap between the rich and poor within and between the countries has increased very fast.
In the organised sector, downsizing called ‘right sizing’, reduction of manpower through retrenchments and the so-called ‘Voluntary’ Retirement Schemes, hire and fire policy, attack on social security etc are resorted to, all on the plea of competitiveness and depicted as in the interest of consumer, though in reality these are done for the greed of the corporate sector for super profits. Small and medium industries cannot stand competition under the free market economy and face closures. This policy has affected even the financial sector and the retail trade. They further resorted to outsourcing to the ancillaries within the country and also to the ancillaries of the countries where cheap labour is available. Denationalisation, mergers and takeovers are taking place which also lead to the attack on the workers.
The organised sector is being dismantled and jobs are shifting to ancillaries and the unorganised sector; for instance powerlooms, parts of engineering goods manufactured by small units are mostly on piece rate basis. The garment industry also comes under the same category.
In the developing countries, because of the backwardness the small and medium industries, the cottage and tiny industries, the hawkers and small retail traders and others do suffer.
The traditional unorganised sector which includes Agricultural workers, Hawkers, Beedi & Cigar, Handicrafts, Gem & Jewellery, Leather goods, Powerlooms, Rickshaw drivers, Headload workers, Brick Kilns, Fisheries etc. live on low wages, without security of service and with no social security or welfare schemes. Most of them are not organised in Trade Unions, hence lack collective bargaining capacity.
In most of the developing countries the right to organisation and collective bargaining are not implemented or large numbers are excluded. For instance Engineers, Technicians, Supervisors, Teachers and the Govt. Employees cannot organise Trade Unions and have no right to collective bargaining. In India the Supreme Court held recently that Govt. Employees have no right to strike and in Pakistan, formation of Trade Unions in Railways and certain special industries is banned. Even now Child Labour exists in a bigway and bonded labour in concealed forms exists inspite of legislation which have several lacuna.
The Contractor workers, casual or temporary workers, the workers on time bound contract all come under the category of unorganized sector arising out of structural adjustment. Women are engaged more and more in the unorganized or the informal sector of economy.
Equal wages for equal work are denied to women. The same is the position of casual and contract workers who get a fraction of wages of permanent workers doing the same job.
The Labour laws whatever exist are not applicable in the Export Zones or the Economic Zones.
The trade unions in the region, shall, in the coming period strive to organise the unorganised so that the workers, both in the organised and the unorganised sector together conduct struggles against the imperialist globalisation – against hunger and unemployment.
Fight against the attack on organised sector.
Fight for living wages, security of service and social security for the workers in unorganised sector with better living conditions.
We further declare that we shall, in cooperation with all trade unions, irrespective of ideological differences, struggle for the implementation of the core labour standards.
We declare that the Trade Unions in the Asia-Pacific region shall, unitedly with other trade unions in the respective countries, will campaign against the anti-working class policies being adopted by the Governments and shall demand the respective Govts. in these countries to shun these policies.
We shall mobilise against the privatisation of public sector and the policies of globalisation and liberalization.
We shall conduct struggles against the attack on the workers carried on through the policy of hire and fire and attack on social security.
We shall conduct struggle for jobs for all; Social security for all; Legislation for security of service, social security and need based wages for workers in the unorganised sector.
We shall organise rallies and demonstrations and wherever possible general strike to resist these impacts of the capitalist globalisation.
We hereby resolve to observe a day, Asia-Pacific Solidarity Day on the 30th May, 2005 towards achieving : i) Full Employment ii) Security of service iii) Social Security for all iv) Implementation of social standards including core conventions.
We are confident that an alternative is possible.
Long live workers unity!
Workers of the World unite, Unite!
(H. MAHADEVAN), Dy. General Secretary,
WFTU Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau, New Delhi
(SUKOMAL SEN), Secretary General
Trade Unions International (Public & Allied Employees Unions)
(MRINMOY BHATTACHARYYA) , General Secretary
(FISE) Trade Unions International – Teachers
(JOHN WALTER PRITCHARD), Vice President
WFTU Australian Region
Bangladesh Trade Union Kendra
Jatio Sramik Jote
Jatio Sramik Federation Bangladesh
Jatiyo Sramik Jote, Bangladesh (JSJB)
General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea (GFTUK)
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)
All India Co-ordination Committee of Trade Unions (AICCTU)
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)
All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)
United Trade Union Congress (UTUC)
United Trade Union Centre (Lenin Sarani) (UTUC-LS)
Trade Union Co-ordination Committee (TUCC)
All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA)
Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI)
Joint Council of the State Govt. Employees Associations
Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union (BKMU)
All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU)
Reserve Bank Employees’ Association (RBEA)
Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam
All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association
Madras Harbour Workers Union
National Federation of Telecom Employees (NFTE -BSNL)
All India ITDC Employees’ Union
Rajdhani Rickshaw Chalak Union
Delhi Municipal Workers’ Union
National Confederation of Trade Unions (ZENROREN)
Nepal Trade Union Federation (NFTU)
All Pakistan Trade Union Federation (APTUF)
All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU)
Pakistan National Federation of Trade Unions (Malik Group)
Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions (CFTU)
Central Council of Ceylon Trade Unions (CCCTU)
Sri Lanka Mahajana Trade Union Federation (SLMTUF)
Inter Company Employees’ Union (ICEU)
All Ceylon Trade Union Federation (ACTUF)
Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL)