RESOLUTION OF PARTICIPANTS AT THE 4TH ASIA/PACIFIC MEETING OF CONSTRUCTION AND WOOD UNIONS, MARCH 2006, TOKYO
This meeting of international representatives of construction, wood and related unions from the Asia/Pacific region meeting in Tokyo, Japan on 10-12 March 2006 resolves as follows:
- We note the final resolution of the 3rd Asia/Pacific seminar of construction unions held in Hanoi in March 2005 and express our satisfaction that the decisions adopted in Hanoi were implemented in large measure.
- We place on record our gratitude to the Japanese Organizing Committee for this 4th Asia/Pacific seminar, and acknowledge the excellent preparation, facilities and hospitality that has been afforded to us.
- We resolve to continue our momentum that first began at our Sydney meeting in 2002 and move forward to organize a 5th Asia/Pacific Seminar of construction and related unions to be held in Manila, Philippines in February 2007.
- That we produce a booklet in English containing all of the contributions delivered at our Tokyo meeting and distribute this publication broadly to construction and related unions in the Asia/Pacific region.
- That we note the excellent level of participation of unions in our Tokyo seminar and urge the 13 unions participating to strengthen bi-lateral ties of solidarity between each other.
- We call upon the UITBB Secretariat to publish a special edition of the UITBB Bulletin containing the issues and themes emerging from our Tokyo meeting.
- On specific policy issues canvassed in our Tokyo meeting we say the following:
- a) Globalization
We understand the accelerating pace of capitalist globalization across our region and resolve to work in every possible way to strengthen the regulation of working conditions for construction workers. We understand that the collective organization of construction workers through trade unions that are committed to action and struggle is the best way forward for workers of the region.
- b) Asbestos
Having debated the asbestos question at length we note that the scientific and medical evidence on the danger of this building material is beyond doubt. We as a group of unions believe that this substance should be banned across our region and the whole world. We also note that asbestos is still being widely produced and used in our industry across the region and call on governments, employers and unions to work together to switch to substitute products as a matter of urgency. We believe that plans must be put into place immediately to save jobs and save lives by producing alternative products. We call upon the UITBB, its affiliates and supporters to participate in the proposal for a further protest against the Canadian Government attitude to asbestos planned for April 28, 2006.
- c) Precarious Labor
We note with the spread of globalization that the working conditions of ever growing numbers of construction workers in our region are becoming more irregular and precarious as each day goes by. We resolve to share information on the latest trends and tactics used by the employers to evade responsibilities to construction workers. We also call on the ILO to adopt a robust instrument that might afford some protection to the huge numbers of workers affected.
- d) Migrant Labor
We note that the central principle of globalization being the free and unimpeded movement of capital and labor across borders presents enormous challenges for trade unions, particularly for construction unions in the Asia/Pacific. We resolve to study the latest trends and patterns involved in the use of guest labor in our industry; we resolve to communicate with each other on developments in our own national setting; we resolve to seek to organize the growing numbers of workers involved and seek to regulate the standards applying to these workers by fighting to implement the prevailing standards of the host country; and lastly we determine that this issue shall feature as a priority policy issue at our Manila Seminar.
- e) Asian Natural Disasters
We call upon all participants in our Seminar and friends and supporters across the region to provide material assistance to our sisters and brothers so tragically affected by the Asian Tsunami, the Pakistan earthquake and the Philippine landslides. We urge all involved in the reconstruction efforts to insist that building materials containing asbestos are not used. We acknowledge and thank those unions at our Seminar who have already lent material assistance.
We so decide.
4TH Asia-Pacific Construction Workers’ Seminar
March 12, 2006
Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution stipulates the non-possession of armed forces and prohibits resort to military aggression.
Today, against the backdrop of the world strategy of neo-liberalism and the power of the multinational corporations, Article 9 is being placed under a growing pressure mounted by the U.S. and Japanese government and business circles.
Peace-loving people of Japan by a clear majority are opposed to the revision of Article 9. The international community has also expressed its concern. Many Japanese people and trade unions are strengthening their solidarity to stop this perilous development.
At the 4th Asia-Pacific Construction Workers Seminar, the movement of Japanese trade unions against the reorganization of the U.S. military has been reported on and both Japanese and overseas participants have stated that Article 9 should be preserved.
We, construction workers who are builders are committed to peace and stand in opposition to war.
We, the participants in the 4th Asia-Pacific Construction Workers Seminar demand that Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution be maintained and express our solidarity with the struggle of the Japanese people and trade unions.
March 12, 2006