The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Geneva-based International Labour Organization (ILO).
The MOU was signed by ILO Deputy Director General Greg Vines, and Commission President, The Hon Justice I J K Ross AO, at a special ceremony in Melbourne.
Justice Ross said today’s ceremony formalised the strong and longstanding relationship between the ILO and the Commission, and offered greater scope for engagement and professional development opportunities for those involved in dispute prevention and resolution.
Supporting the Commission’s international engagement strategy, Justice Ross said the MOU would help ensure that members of the Commission would be available to assist ILO Member States in the development and delivery of sound labour relations practices and would also enable Commission Members to maintain their own knowledge of overseas workplace relations practices, particularly in the areas of effective prevention and resolution of labour disputes.
“The ability to share and collaborate with our international counterparts through a formal relationship with the ILO is an important way for the Commission and its Members to make important international contributions and keep abreast of the changing global industrial landscape.”
“The Commission is very pleased to have formalised our relationship with the ILO and look forward to continuing our strong association long into the future.”
Mr. Greg Vines, speaking on behalf of the ILO said that the ILO is increasingly called on to provide technical assistance in the area of labour dispute resolution. The sharing of comparative practices and facilitation of skills training by experienced mediators and arbitrators is an invaluable resource.
Mr. Moussa Oumarou, Director of the Governance and Tripartism Department said “The agreement reinforces the international partnership between the ILO and FWC which has already strengthened systems for the prevention and resolution of labour disputes in Cambodia, China, the Philippines, South Africa and Tanzania.”
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ILO and FWC have a longstanding relationship which has included collaboration:
- In South Africa, assistance in establishment and training of mediators and arbitrators when the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) was established in 1996.
- In Tanzania and Zanzibar, establishment and training of Commission for Mediation and Arbitration in Tanzania and Dispute Handling Unit in Zanzibar in 2011/2012.
- NORMES and the ITC-ILO have a global training programme on international labour standards for judges. In this framework, ITC-ILO in partnership with FWC has been organizing conferences and training activities for judges and arbitrators from Asia and the
Pacific since 2010. So far, two editions have been organized in Melbourne in 2010 and 2012.
- Study visit of Chinese delegates from MOHRSS to FWC in 2012.
- FWC has provided intensive support to Cambodia's Arbitration Council through training, mentorship, support of study tours, and provision of resource material (legal guides, etc) since its inception in 2003.
- ILO sponsored study visit of Nepal National Labour Commission to FWC and to Cambodia Arbitration Council to review arbitration systems.
- FWC has hosted delegations under ILO sponsorship from the Philippines to examine wage fixing mechanisms".