His Excellency Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), appreciated the role of the ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) in representing the concerns of workers in a dialogue at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia on 13 December 2018.
In response to the presentation of the ATUC Bali Declaration, DSG Kung emphasized the importance of bringing more perspectives including from trade unions in ASEAN. “I highly value regular engagements with ATUC” considering its position on policies affecting workers, he said.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) more responsive;
- disruptive technologies beneficial to workers;
- migrant workers’ rights better protected; and
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation more inclusive.
Economic development in the region has benefited many companies. DSG Kung believes that CSR can help companies give back to society. ATUC inputs in relevant forums would help CSR more responsive to the needs of workers and society.
Disruptive technologies propel the region in unprecedented innovation in many areas including the world of work. Such technologies challenge existing jobs. Job losses can cause social instabilities and ATUC is in a position to help workers prepare for and take advantage of disruptive technologies.
Migrant workers and countries benefit from labour migration. Trade unions represent migrant workers. Expanding the role of trade unions in this area should be considered by ASEAN. In the meantime, ATUC was in the launching of the ASEAN Safe Migration Campaign. ATUC is also part of the tripartite discussions on portability of social security for migrant workers.
ASEAN is doing a study on SDGs with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and ATUC inputs in the study will be important. DSG Kung’s office will also look at the possible involvement of ATUC in the planned ASEAN symposium on SDGs next year.
The ATUC delegation led by ATUC General Secretary Ruben Torres and ATUC President Abdul Halim Mansor expressed their appreciation for the encouraging words from DSG Kung. The ATUC leaders welcomed the opportunity to contribute to discussions affecting workers and their families.
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