3 November, 2008
The fourth regional meeting of the Asia-Pacific Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Workers’ Network was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 28 October, with 20 delegates from five Asian nations attending. Previous Goodyear Asia-Pacific network meetings were held in Manila, Philippines, in 2005; Singapore in 2002; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2000.
“The continuity of our regional network activity since 2000 shows the commitment of participating unions for international solidarity and cooperation, which gives us high hopes for the future,” stated Toshiaki Hojo, President of the Japanese Rubber Workers’ Union Confederation (GOMU-RENGO). “It is very important to carry out our activities in parallel with ICEM’s Goodyear Global Union Network.”
Toshiaki Hojo, President, GOMU-RENGO
Hojo added that the Asia-Pacific Workers’ Network of the American company has worked successfully on health and safety issues, and pledged to do more on this issue.
Delegates evaluated past activities of the Goodyear Global and Asia-Pacific Region networks, and the meeting received a detailed report on Goodyear’s financial situation and the labour relations of a company that employs 70,000 workers in 60 factories, operating in 25 countries. Delegates on 28 October identified specific situations in their plants by giving current figures on salaries, working hours, and collective bargaining developments.
Health and safety was handled in a separate session, in which past histories were summarized by ICEM Chemicals and Rubber Officer Kemal Özkan. Following, specific health and safety problems were put forward, and the importance of information exchange was highlighted. The ICEM was requested to provide some information on global standards, specifically on heat limits and safety glasses.
After discussing the ICEM’s 2009 World Conference for the Rubber Industries and other industry conferences to occur next year, the meeting decided – through an action plan – to escalate targeting of joint organising efforts, to focus on training and education programmes, as well as to engage in regular and detailed information exchange through electronic means.
The 2008 regional network meeting also adopted a special announcement toward further action for reinstatement of Thai and Malaysian colleagues, workers who have been unjustly fired by the company.