Joint Conclusion: South-East Asia Trade Union Conference

Workers organizations and trade unions from 10 South-East Asian countries adopted a joint resolution at a trade union sub-regional conference held in the Philippines on 10-11 October 2022.

Record of decisions | Manila, Philippines | 11 October 2022
We, the trade unions of South-East Asia, from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Viet Nam, at the Strategies for Resilience and Renewal post-Covid South-East Asia Trade Union Conference on 10-11 October 2022 at Manila, Philippines have joined together to, strengthen, and revitalize the trade union in the changing world of work and to affirm the mandate for social justice and decent work for all workers.

The trade unions in South-East Asia jointly:

  1. Recognize and support the role of trade union and its mandate. Revitalize the trade union and its institution to respond and address the systemic challenges that face the world of work and working jointly to be the voice of the marginalized labour with focus on inclusive job-rich growth and full recognition and protection of the rights of all workers everywhere in the subregion.

  2. Reaffirm our commitment to work together to build coordination, collaboration and solidarity at the national, regional and global levels to promote the decent work agenda for sustainable and inclusive development with focus on the promotion of international labour standards, especially fundamental principles including the newly adopted fundamental rights to occupational safety and health for all workers - the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187).

  3. Commit to organize workers with new forms of work such as platform workers using innovative approaches, including use of participatory methodologies and digital tools and to collected evidence-based data and information on these workers, so that unions can reflect the voices of workers and represent better for social dialogue (including bipartite and tripartite dialogue) and beyond.

  4. Engage jointly in the global, regional, national and local forums (including the United Nations and other international organizations business and human rights, Environment, Social and Governance, etc.) in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda, especially decent work, through effective and meaningful social dialogue with tripartite and multi-stakeholders as the voice of the workers. Trade unions will continue efforts to build and promote their capacities for such.

  5. Work collectively on green jobs and just transitions to address employment and labour market issues in relation to climate change, the fourth industrial revolution and new ways of production. The direct effects of climate change as well as the indirect effects of adaptation and mitigation measures to address climate changes have an enormous impact on employment and the labour market.

  6. Work for the adoption of inclusive social protection measures within the sub-region to mitigate the negative impacts on workers and their families, in the event of a pandemic, climate event, or other natural and man-made disasters.

  7. Jointly engage in campaigns and advocacy agenda for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar and respect for the freedom of association and right to bargain collectively, which are critical for social dialogue, in countries where workers do not enjoy basic human and workers’ rights such as the Philippines the on eradication of discrimination and oppression against union leaders and members and elimination of gender-based violence.

  8. Call for collective work to ensure a strong and active ASEAN Trade Union Council (ATUC) composed of trade unions for joint agenda, collective voice, representation, and action. ATUC should be accredited and recognized as a social dialogue partner by ASEAN to engage and influence labour policies in the sub-region.

Resolution conclusion statement

The trade unions in South-East Asia are committed to the above-mentioned common agenda and jointly commit to work together to create a just, sustainable and fair economy, that enables decent work for all workers in conditions of dignity and freedom and call for united and accelerated action for investing in social dialogue, and international labour standards to foster sustainable and inclusive development for all workers without distinction. The trade unions seek advice and technical assistance, where appropriate, from the ACTRAV and the ILO to engage governments of South-East Asia, employers, the ASEAN, UN and other inter-governmental organizations for the implementation of this agenda.

Adopted in Manila, Philippines on 11 October 2022.