The ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) reiterated its call on the ASEAN Member States, ASEAN secretariat, and stakeholders to consider “A Framework for ASEAN Labour Standards and Principles” to identify and strengthen key minimum labour standards in ASEAN in a Conference Statement on 26 May 2016 in Vientiane, Laos.
The ATUC crafted the Statement after the presentation of the consolidated preliminary results of the study on ASEAN minimum labour standards. The study contains ATUC recommendations in nine key areas, including wage standards, non-regular work arrangements, equality of opportunity and protection against discrimination, and freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Actions on the ATUC Regional Framework Action Agenda will be at the national level through labour law and institutional reforms and implementation of programmes; and coordinated regional and sub-regional action to address issues within national borders but requiring a common response, and cross-border issues including labour migration.
The Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU) will hand over the final Statement to the SLOM Chair from Lao PDR. The other ATUC affiliates will hand over the Statement to the labour ministers and ASEAN focal points in their countries.
In the opening session, Ruben Torres, General Secretary of ATUC, explained that the study is needed as ATUC engages the respective governments and the ASEAN in a constructive dialogue towards the implementation of minimum labour standards in the region.
Pan Noymany, President of LFTU which hosted the meeting, appreciated the ATUC initiative on ASEAN labour standards and expressed interest in sharing experiences on pushing for rights at work under the relevant ILO Conventions.
Noriyuki Suzuki, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation – Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP), said that the ATUC should play a key role in pushing for ASEAN Minimum Labour Standards in the ASEAN Economic Community to bridge the inequality gap.
Seventeen representatives in eight countries from ATUC affiliates, including participants from the ITUC-AP, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Lao PDR Country Office participated in the meeting.
The LO-FTF Council, the Danish trade union cooperation council, through the International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP), supported the activity.
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