Union activists discuss struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons
- Zenroren holds laborfs international meeting on peace
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held an international conference from July 31 to August 1 in Tokyo to share experiences and exchange views about labor efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons, defend peace, and struggle against superpowerfs hegemony.
Ten representatives of six unions from the United States, India, Canada, Pakistan, and Vietnam participated in the meeting along with 84 Zenroren union members.
Zenroren President Daikoku Sakuji gave the opening speech. He said, gI hope we can share experiences and exchange views on the struggles against superpower high-handedness, the present state and tasks of workersf struggles confronting companies and governments in the globalized world, trend of the public view on the Iraq War, and labor efforts to abolish nuclear weapons.h
After the keynote speech by Zenroren Secretary General Odagawa Yoshikazu, 14 participants spoke, including overseas delegates.
Three representatives, two from Zenroren affiliated unions and one from Zenroren Womenfs Section, gave their reports focusing on various issues relating to globalization, poverty, and peace.
At the end of day one, participants pledged to strengthening solidarity and cooperation through (1) organizing the movement to expose multinational enterprisesf illegal activities, (2) waging joint struggle against neo-liberal economic policy that widens social disparities and increases the poverty rate due to a handful of multinational companies monopolizing wealth, (3) sharing experiences in the movement in each country to apply the international labor standards to migrant workers taking into account the ILO proposal on decent work, and (4) promoting the movement for sustainable development, including the effort to urge their respective governments to strengthen regulation on greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
Day two was devoted to discussion on labor efforts for a peaceful and just world free of nuclear weapons.
Four representatives of Zenroren-affiliated federations spoke about their struggle to remove the U.S. military bases from Japan and to protect peace.
Representatives of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workersf of America (UE) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said that they didnft know how Japanese labor unions have been involved in the peace movement. They said they will inform the U.S. people about the issue of the U.S. military presence in Japan.
Representatives of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUT) proposed designating August 6 and 9 international days of trade union solidarity action.
Regarding this proposal, all participants confirmed that both Zenroren and the CITU will take the initiative in preparing for joint action.