OF PARTICIPANTS AT THE 51H ASIA/PACIFIC SEMINAR
OF BUILDING AND BUILDING MATERIALS UNIONS,
FEBRUARY 24, 2007, MANILA
This meeting of unions from the Asia/Pacific
region consisting of delegates from India,
Mauritius, Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Japan,
Philippines, New Zealand and Australia having
met in Manila from 23-25 February, 2007 resolves
1. We believe that the momentum built up through
our series of regional meetings of construction
and construction related unions in the Asia/Pacific
region has been valuable for our work as trade
unionists and that the process should continue;
2. We ask that the UITBB leadership work to
establish a 6th meeting of this seminar process
and that the meeting should take place within
a 12-18 month time frame. We suggest that
discussions take place with unions in a range
of countries including China, Indonesia, Bangladesh,
Pakistan and New Zealand in order to establish
a host country for our next meeting;
3. Our meeting in Manila has had a special
focus on the issue of labour migration (as
decided by our Tokyo meeting) and it is important
that we continue our work around this key
issue; We resolve to take the following practical
steps to assist migrant workers who are being
abused and exploited:
a) We will seek to organize a day of protest
in key cities throughout the Asia/Pacific
region to draw attention to the problems faced
by migrant workers particularly guest workers,
in the construction industry in our region.
These protests should be coordinated to take
place at the same time before the end of 2007.
The UITBB office should frame a list of demands
that can be submitted to governments on the
day of our protest;
b) Having established that the level of knowledge
gained by migrant workers of their rights
before they commence work in a host country
has an important bearing on the possibility
of exploitation occurring, we resolve to departure
processes that are followed in the sending
countries of our region. We resolve to write
to the ILO and seek funding to expedite the
C) We commit ourselves to strengthening bilateral
ties between the unions of the region so that
when instances of exploitation of migrant
workers are discovered in a receiving country
the union seeking to address the issue can
rapidly communicate with kindred unions from
the sending country, seeking information and
d) We resolve that we as individual unions
and the UlTBB should continue to press this
issue with the ILO believing that much more
has to be done to implement the well meaning
but non-binding provisions of the ILO Multi-lateral
Framework on Labour Migration that was adopted
e) We resolve to press Governments of the
region who have not ratified the two ILO conventions
on labour migration to do so along with the
provisions of the Multi-lateral Framework
as a matter of urgency;
f We resolve to press governments who have
ratified the ILO instruments but do not respect
them in practice;
g) We resolve to share information with each
other and the UITBB head office so that we
will continue to gather knowledge on this
h) We ask that the issue of migrant labour
feature prominently on the agenda of our next
4. We call upon the UITBB to putlish a special
edition of the UITBB Bulletin dealing with
our 5th Asia/Pacific Seminar in Manila;
5. We call upon the UITBB to place the papers
presented at this seminar on the UITBB website
as a matter of urgency;
6. As a group of construction and construction
related unions we resolve to give special
emphasis in our day to day work to the critical
safety and occupational diseases issues discussed
at this meeting. We resolve to campaign vigorously
around the asbestos issue, and the causes
of other prevalent diseases for construction
workers such as silicosis, pneumoconiosis
and the like;
7. We ask the UITBB to forward a copy of our
final resolution of the 5th seminar together
with the papers presented to ACTRAV at the
8. We place on record our gratitude and thanks
to TUPAS and the many Comrades from TUPAS
who have helped make our stay in the Philippines
enjoyable and our seminar rewarding.
We so decide.
BRIEF NOTE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE
UNION CONFERENCE. OF WORKING
WOMEN HELP AT BRUSSELS
INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFERPNCE
OF WORKING WOMEN organised by the
World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) was
held in Brussels, Belgium from September 13th
to 14th 2007 and was Atended by 95 delegates
from 62 countries representing 80 Trade Union
The venue of the conference was 'European
Parliament'. Corn. Malathy Chi ttibabu on
behalf of CWFI, Com.K.Hemaiatha on 'behalf
of CETU and Corn. M.Girija on behalf of AIIEA
participated in the Conference from India.
WFTU did not expect 95 women delegates from
62 countries would participate in the Conference.
They anticipated delegates from just around
This shows that throughout the world, excepting
in come countries like China, Vietnam, Cuba,
Venezuela in all other countries, the working
women are facing lot of problems; and-if some
forum k ready to discuss the issues, then
there is a good response. Participants from
all the countries took part in discussion
and exchanged the situation of working women
in their respective countries and regions;
though there had been some progress, many
problems still remain un-resolved and there
were many obstacles and gaps in terms of 'Gender
WFTU's Secretary General Corn. GEORGE MAVRIKOS
in his inaugural speech explained about the
position of women in each historical epoch
in the primitive
communal system, in the slave-owning system,
in the feudal system, in the capitalist system.
In the socialist societies that were constructed
during eh 20th century laid the basis, through
the socialization of the means of production
for the promotion of women's equality. Women
attained full rights in the employment, in
maternity, in education, in housing, in sports,
in health, in politics. When we discuss about
the 'female issue' we speak.of the additional
emploitation and the oppression that women
edure from society as result of their gender.
The social and gender discriminations have
mental, cultural and moral repercussions,
since women are prevented from developing
their abilities full and from attaining full
equality. These negaltive repel-cussions concern
the women of the working class, of the poor
peasantry, of the self-employed strata, while
the women of the bourgeoisie find the means
and the possibilities to solve these problems.
• Secietaria!s for working women will
be formed in all trade-unions. They will plan
activities. They will coordinate struggles.
• The conclusions and the demands of
the ( nterence would be sent to all the
international organizations and governments.
• During 2008, conferences of working
women would be held in every continent.
• Women's secretai wits of the WFTU
would be formed in each continent.
CLEANTHIS CLEANTHOUS, Head of the European
Regional Office of WFTU, greeted the conference
Extracts from the presentations of
CHINA : To protect the rights of women, China
have brought labour laws; equal rights; social
status of women is improved; role of women
is important in the work place.
AFGHANISTAN : Work is not recognized - no
job security - un--emploved, women are pushed
to labour market. Trade Union Movement should
fight for the rights of working women.
GREECE : Exploitation of Women and children
- struggles were developed - un-equal payment
for the same jobs.
CYPRUS : Thousands of working women in labour
market - because of unemployment - poverty
- cheap labour.
CANAY ISLANDS : Women are isolated -- women
are converted as migrant workers. Our trade
union must be feminist. We must be bettel
IRELAND : daily basis work is available. No
permanent job. We may be politically different.
But we have common points. We must work for
our interest. We must face all the barriers.
We have to organize internationally. We have
to strengthen working groups.
GALICIA: Labour realations are worse ! RUSSIA:
Rights of women are violated !
SOUTH AFRICA : Africa, Latin America struggles
are important. United front must be
formed. Organization should be strengthened.
Struggles of Belgium, Brazil, Vietnam and
also in India are to be appreciated.
SWEDEN . Large scale privatization is taking
VIETNAM . Working women forum formed. Gender
equality is there; family burdens are shared.
POLAND : Social, economic, cultural problems
prevail. Temporary jobs are only
VENEZUELA : Law against violence against women'
have been brought. Progress had been Made
through struggles. House-wives are getting
pension. Minimum wages are ensured (Hid the
salaries are rising.
AMBASSADOR OF VENEZUELA : We have to change
our language while addressing "gender
ILO : Globalization ‘weakens the working
class. Capacity of the trade union to be
FRANCE : In the name of capitalism there are
many problems. We must stand against the discrimination.
SERBIA : women need social protection. Discrimination
between men and women
prevails. This has to be considered by collective
bargaining. Vocational trailing needed. Committee
for Social Equality is there.
GERMANY: The working-women are in the street.
They have been suppressed. Retired age has
become 67. men an women are facing equal miseries.
Men have no permanent job. 2.6 million Children
are un-healthy. Social relief organizations
collect the food and gives to children.
GREECE Women should fight for women ! social
responsibilities to be taken !
SPAIN : Trade union movement is there in the
big companies. Women are treaded like objects.
Women need trade unions and trade unions need
RUSSIA : Merciless exploitation. They are
not allowed to go to toilets even. Women workers
are exploited !
My presentation on behalf of CWFI (speech
already cent to you by e-mail) was appreciated
and well received by the delegates !
Corns. Hemalatha and Girija also made their
presentations on behalf of CITU and AIIEA.
Finally a Declaration was adopted by the Conference.
Important points in the Declaration:
• To organize working women's Conference
at Regional and National levels
Regularly, to provide women with a space to
raise their concerns and for Trade Unions
to adopt concrete policies, actions and results
on gender equality !
• We address a call to all women militants
of the world to act jointly with men inside
trade Unions. 'To resist the capitalist globalization,
imperialist wars, to destruction of environment.
To demand tradeunion and democratic freedoms
• We address a call to strengthen all
together the WFTU in the new course which
started in its 15th Congress in Havana, Cuba.
The world working class needs a
class oriented trade union movement, demo
ratic, militant and modern, independent from
transnationals and capital.
First time initiatives taken by the WFTU in
organizing this kind of Working Women Conference
in international level needs appreciations.
Cuba and Greece only have contributed funds
for the conductance of the Conference!
Communist MP's of Greece taken efforts for
conducting the conference in European
Parliament. Sufferings of Working Women are
almost same all over the world. Wrath of imperialist
dictums are same all over the world.
Delegates from South Africa, Sudan, Russia,
Germany, Sylvia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cuba,
China cordially interacted with our team from
meeting of unions from the Asia/Pacific region consisting
of delegates from India, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Vietnam.