24 July 2012. At its Manila meeting on 23 and 24 July 2012, leaders of the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) resolved to take renewed regional and national concerted actions to ensure labor representation in the ASEAN and regional integration with decent work and implementation of decent work, including protection of migrant labor, promotion of youth employment, addressing precarious work, and equitable growth.

The improved political environment in Burma hopes to usher recognition by the ASEAN of ATUC as a labor sector dialogue partner in the region.

The ASEAN Trade Union Council is an apex body of eighteen national trade union centers and confederations in nine ASEAN member states, except Brunei, representing five (5) million members.

The meeting, chaired by NTUC President Emeritus John de Payva with the attendance of nine senior national labor center leaders of seven ASEAN member states, re-confirmed ATUC’s interim officers –Brother Khalid Mohd as President representing MTUC; Bro. Ernesto F. Herrera, PhD as Secretary General representing the new TUCP; and Bro. John de Payva of NTUC, Bro. Said Iqbal of CITU/KSPI, and Bro. Kamhtanh Sophimavong of LFTU as Vice Presidents.

The re-confirmation of ATUC officers was done in response to the recent developments in the leadership of some affiliates. They will serve as such until the ATUC General Assembly and Elections in 2013 in Manila.

In collaboration with the ITUC-AP, ATUC will pursue a campaign for the ratification of ILO Core Conventions, including the conduct of an ATUC study on Freedom of Association, Collecting Bargaining, and Industrial Relations in the ASEAN, coordination and dialogue meetings with labor ministers of ASEAN countries that have not ratified the core conventions, and monitoring the implementation of Freedom of Association (FoA) and Collective Bargaining (CB) through national labor center affiliates.

ILO Core Conventions include Conventions 87 and 98 –Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining; Conventions 29 and 105 –Forced Labor; Conventions 100 and 111 –Discrimination; and Conventions 138 and 182 –Child Labor. As of July 2012, only Cambodia, Indonesia, and Philippines have ratified said conventions in the ASEAN.

Continuing its 2010-2015 Work Programme, ATUC will direct its focus on nine priority concerns: (a) The ASEAN Social Charter, the ATUC Trade Union Roadmap, the responses to the ASEAN Labor Ministers’
Work Programme, and country actions; (b) ASEAN Labor, Fair Globalization and FTAs, including an ASEAN ECOSOC; (c) The Global Jobs Pact and the Social Protection Floor; (d) Migrant Workers including Trafficking; (e) Coherence between ILO Conventions and National Laws; (f) Progressive Labour Practices and Workforce Development; (g) Youth Employment and Elimination of Child Labor; (h) Decent Work and international financial institutions; and (i) The Decent Work Country Programmes in relation to the implementation of the ASEAN Senior Labor Ministers (SLOM) Work Programs.

ATUC welcomed and expressed appreciation to ITUC-AP and the LO- FTF Council of Denmark for their committed support for ATUC and its action program.

ATUC will also pursue its work in cooperation with the ILO-ACTRAV and ILO National Offices in the region.

Representatives of KSPI/CITU (Indonesia); KSBSI (Indonesia); CCTU (Cambodia); LFTU (Laos); VGCL (Vietnam); NTUC (Singapore); FFW (Philippines); and TUCP (Philippines) attended the special meeting.