Trade Union dialogue with ADB

Posted On - 15/02/2012


February 14 - GEFONT President Cde Bishnu Rimal has participated in 2nd dialogue session of trade unions and Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines on February 14, 2012. 


The meeting was organised by International Trade Union Confederation, Asia Pacific region (ITUC AP) and the Global Union Federations (GUFs) in the region. 


The meeting started with welcoming remarks of Mr. Xianbin, Yao- Director General of Regional and sustainable Development Department of ADB. The meeting proceeded with different presentations by officials of Bank, representatives of GUFs and ITUC-AP.


During the meeting, GEFONT President Cde Bishnu Rimal questioned whether Core Labour Standard (CLS) handbook placed in website of ADB was just for public consumption or implementation! Citing the bitter fact president Rimal said- None of the agreement between Bank and Government of Nepal has bother to mention compliance of CLS in ADB funded project. 


President Rimal referred Melamchi Water Supply Project in Nepal as a case study and said- “There is no minimum wage implementation and there is wage discrimination among workers, no appointment letter is awarded and there is no provision of occupational safety and health; none of social protection measures has been implemented, there is no trade union rights & right to collectively bargain!”


"Whom do we blame?" He questioned- "who is the responsible to monitor much publicise compliance of CLS and accountability of funding agencies vis-à-vis CSR!"


General Secretary of ITUC-AP Bro. Noriyuki Suzuki presented ITUC-AP Policy on Social Safety Nets. He mentioned that the evolution of SSNs was in behest of 1997 Asian Financial and Economic crisis. He explained progress made in the region since then.


ILO World Social Security Report underlines- In Asia Pacific, Legal unemployment coverage of the working age population is 6.3%; reality in the region is- only 5.32% of GDP spent on public social security expenditure. By contrast, in Western Europe, 60.3% legal unemployment coverage and 25.08% of GDP spent on social security expenditure.


On the occasion, Bro Felix Anthony, National Secretary of Fiji Trades Union Congress and General Council member of ITUC AP made a presentation on ITUC-AP policy on Employment Protection.


"Creation and Promotion of gainful employment , regulated labour market, employment protection schemes, regulated financial market, inclusive growth and national employment policy should be the issue of labour market policy" Bro Felix said-" there should vbe the role of trade unions to pursue paradigm shift of employment policy, to intensify on organising efforts, to promote unity by strengthening political mobilisation, making bargaining power stronger, pushing for institutional reform and compliance with ILO Conventions 87 & 98.


"Representing the GUFs in the region, Bro. Souparna Lahiri presented CLS in Procurement and Project Operations; whereas Mr. Chiris Morris, Principle Social Development Specialists of ADB updated on Civil Society Program. 


Meeting concluded with remarks by Mr. Bart Edes, one of the Director of Bank, Bro. Mahendra Sharma on behalf of GUFs and ITUC-AP General Secretary Noriyuki Suzuki.


From Nepali Trade Union side, along with GEFONT president NTUCI President Bro Laxman Basnet and ANTUF president Cde Shalik Ram Jamkattel had participate in the meeting.


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