Metalworkers meet in Asia Pacific


About 85 unionists from 14 countries across the Asia Pacific Region met for the 9th Asian Metalworkers Liaison Conference (AMLC) in Kyoto, Japan on 2 – 3 September, to discuss the challenges being faced by metal workers in Asia.

Following the decision at the 8th AMLC in Malaysia in 2015, the conference concluded that this would be the last AMLC. Asian metalworkers would together decide on a framework for discussion in line with expectations for the Asia-Pacific region.

Yasunobu Aihara, president of JCM stated in his opening speech “IndustriALL is about to enter the second phase. We need to get over framework of the three global unions and be united as IndustriALL Global Union. The Asia Pacific region is the center of the world’s growth and we need to focus on how to effectively develop our regional activities.”

AMLC, coordinated and sponsored by IndustriALL Japanese affiliate JCM, has been supplementing IndustriALL activities in the Asian region, and has taken place annualy, in addition to IndustriALL’s regional conferences held every 4 years.

The 9th AMLC was addressed by Bertold Huber, President of IndustriALL Global Union and Jyrki Raina, the General Secretary.

Country reports on the current situation of the metal industry and metalworkers’ unions from Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Australia were presented.

IndustriALL’s regional offices in South Asia and Southeast Asia spoke about the challenges and how IndustriALL is addressing them.

Participants discussed the common issues of over capacity of steel and hence glut in several countries, precarious work, and the future of the metal industry in the light of need of sustainability, as well as Industry 4.0.

Seigo Kojima, advisor to JCM, also presented the history and legacy of the Asian Metal Workers Liaison Conference, beginning with the IMF Southeast Asia leadership Training program to Asian Metalworkers Solidarity Seminar to the current format of the AMLC.

It was reiterated that the AMLC is an important platform, and that after the merger of IMF, ICEM and ITGLWF into IndustriALL, a new and different structure is needed and should be discussed.