Zenroren Secretary General calls for organizational build up with dynamism
In the closing session of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) 23rd Regular Convention, Zenroren Secretary General Odagawa Yoshikazu summarized the discussion.
He said, “During the discussion, many delegates spoke about their experiences in organizational buildup efforts, including activities to organize contingent workers. Their experiences were valuable and full of conviction.”
“Having confidence that the Zenroren movement at its 20th year is developing in the right direction, delegates spoke about their experiences with determination to further develop Zenroren’s two-year action program,” he said.
Then he moved on to comment on the discussion.
Regarding movements in defense of the Japanese Constitution, Odagawa said, “We confirmed that our struggles to defend the Constitution should focus on the defense of its Article 9 and invoke the constitutional rights to develop an aggressive movement in dealing with the various issues, including the increasing poverty rate.”
Stating that the Zenroren Convention recognized the importance of trade unions’ progressive role in solving problems facing local communities, Odagawa called on prefectural federations to further discuss the policy for “establishing communities in which people may want to live” and to make concrete plans. “Because local government policies have direct bearings on the daily lives of workers in poverty and economic inequalities,” he said.
Concerning the issue of the movement to get ordinance on public contracts enacted, Odagawa promised that the Zenroren Executive Committee will speed up its work on a plan to promote the movement because some critical problems were arising, including prices of contracts being dumped at competitive bidding for government procurements.
Odagawa said that many delegates spoke about their experiences regarding the proposed action plan to increase the struggle to solve the crisis of people’s livelihoods and eradicate poverty.
He said, “The Zenroren Executive Committee will swiftly come up with a proposal for concrete action to implement the proposed 2008 autumn season action plan aiming to develop the joint struggle of workers and people of various sections and strengthens nationwide support for workers’ struggle in all industries, especially among truck drivers who are hard hit by the soaring oil prices. Zenroren will publicly denounce large corporations for making extraordinary profits and for their arrogance in business activities, which are the source of the crisis of poverty and hardships, and press the government to change its budget policy away from one of using tax money in disregard of people’s livelihoods.”
Concerning the effort at organizing, Odagawa said, “Speeches by delegates made clear that Zenroren member unions have begun organizing as their major task for achieving their demands. If they promote organizational buildup efforts according to the direction that delegates spoke about in the discussion, their activities will achieve great success in the near future.”
In conclusion, Odagawa stated that for the first time in Zenroren Convention history, two Chinese trainees spoke as a Zenroren local federation’s delegate about their harsh working conditions. Odagawa said, “I can reaffirm that Zenroren is an organization that struggles responsively to root out the harsh and slavish working conditions in which foreign workers dignity and basic rights are ignored, and improve the social and economic status of all workers in Japan. The Zenroren Executive Committee will take a lead in fulfilling its responsibility.”