Zenroren Convention calls for greater common action to put new strength into the trade union movement

Zenroren Convention calls for greater common action to put new strength into the trade union movement

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held its 22nd Convention from July 26-28 in Tokyo.

The Convention unanimously adopted all resolutions, including the plan of action for the next two years and the medium-term plan for recruitment and organizational build-up.

Seventy-seven delegates spoke or presented written statements during the three days of discussion. They spoke about the stage of achievement of the movement in various regions, lessons, and the importance of the struggle against the government's "structural reform" policy calling for more public services to be undertaken by the private sector and a "small government".

The out-going Zenroren president, KUMAGAI Kanemichi,was replaced by BANNAI Mitsuo (secretary general). The new secretary general is ODAGAWA Yoshikazu.

Zenroren President KUMAGAI Kanemichi gave the opening statement on behalf of the Executive Committee. The Convention heard greetings by six guests on the first and second days.

International guests were introduced on the first day. Messages in solidarity with the Zenroren Convention were also read.

The Executive Committee proposed the Plan of Action for 2006-2007, the Medium Term Plan for Organizational Buildup, the Financial Report, the Auditors' Report, the Financial Plan for FY 2006.

The two-year Plan of Action focused on the effort to reform the present state of Japanese society, calling for (1) the establishment of workplace rules and filling the gap between the poor and the rich to reduce the poverty rate and (2) the establishment of safety and public security of regional communities. It also calls for a major leap in developing the common effort to rapidly increase the Japanese trade union movement.

In the closing session on July 28, Secretary General Bannai made comments and answered questions raised by delegates during the discussion.

On the evening of the first day, delegates attended a gathering to welcome international guests.

On the second day, a new DVD produced for the promotion of the Zenroren movement was shown. Various labor dispute committees were introduced to the Convention delegates.

Solidarity Gathering with International Guests

The Zenroren 22nd Convention was attended by international guests representing three organizations: France's General Confederation of Workers (CGT), the Center for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and South Korea's Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).

They attended and spoke to a gathering to welcome overseas guests on the evening of the first day.

KCTU Vice President Kim Ji-hee said that KCTU unions are striking in opposition to the conclusion of a "US-South Korea free trade agreement" which will allow multinational corporations to do anything they like under neo-liberalism. "Knowing that this agreement will force the national economy to go bust, we are waging a life-or death struggle to stop the agreement." She also referred to the struggle for ending the use of 850 workers on a contingent basis and for legislation to guarantee contingent workers' basic rights.

CITU General Secretary Chittabrata Majumdar spoke about the movement in opposition to neo-liberal policies in India. He said that his organization gives priority to the establishment of a "Platform," a united political body of the movements to oppose globalization agenda that is contrary to the workers' interest and develop the working-class struggle. Unions participating in the organization have called a general strike on December 14. He also explained the seven-item view of the organization regarding the organizational unification of the international labor movement.

Jean Michel Jubier, the political advisor to the CGT in charge of Asia-Pacific affairs, emphasized in the era of globalization, unions must not be isolated or stick to the national framework, if they want to meet the need of the movement. Referring to the new organization for the international labor movement, he said it is a modern tool for common action and international solidarity and a tool for bringing together workers' needs beyond national boundaries. The CGT will join the new organization, he added.