Manila, Philippines – As initial engagement with the ASEAN Senior Labor Officials Meeting (SLOM), the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) met the SLOM Chair, U Myo Aung from Myanmar, and handed the ATUC Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the ASEAN Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Workers on 4 May 2015 before the SLOM on 6-8 May 2015 in Manila, Philippines.
The ATUC-SLOM Chair Meeting discussed (1) endorsement of the ATUC Declaration, which contained ATUC proposals on Workers’ Rights and on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), to the ASEAN Labor Ministers Meeting (ALMM), and (2) ASEAN recognition of ATUC as social dialogue partner on labor matters in the spirit of tripartism, partnership in economic and social development, and concern for workers.
Highlights of results of the meeting: (1) The SLOM Chair would endeavor to endorse the ATUC Declaration and the ASEAN Social Charter in the SLOM agenda or in the next ALMM around May 2016 in Lao PDR, who will be the next SLOM Chair; (2) The ATUC application for ASEAN recognition filed years ago has not gained consensus for various reasons. Different social, political and economic landscapes in ASEAN countries have to be bridged.
This has not precluded SLOM and ASEAN from engaging ATUC and its affiliates in various SLOM/ASEAN activities. ATUC could be engaged in the evolving SLOM Work Program. Social dialogue should also extend to the ASEAN economic pillar to address the labor impact of ASEAN economic integration and trade agreements.
ATUC prepared the Declaration during its parallel meeting for the 26th ASEAN Summit on 22-23 April 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The ATUC Declaration was also presented in a session of the ASEAN People’s Forum on 23 April 2015.
U Myo Aung, Tin Mar Htwe and Hnin Wint Phyu Phyu Ei from SLOM Myanmar, Mega Irena, Pitchanuch Supavanich and Sarah Choirinnisa from the Asean Secretariat, and ATUC Vice President John De Payva, TUCP Vice President Ruben Torres, FFW President Emeritus Allan Montano and ATUC ATP coordinator Dominador Tuvera were in the meeting.
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