The ASEAN Services Employees Trade Union Council (ASETUC), composed of the Global Union Federations PSI, BWI and UNI, organised the 8th ASEAN Regional Tripartite Social Dialogue Conference, in cooperation with the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE). Over 200 participants from the ten member-states of the ASEAN attended the two-day meeting that commenced on 18 October at Century Park Hotel in the Philippines capital Manila.
This year the Conference theme was "How to Raise the Bar of Social Partnership in an Integrating ASEAN". This is a theme good for the next 50 years of ASEAN, for raising the bar is a continuing task. However, this is also an urgent and critical theme because the ASEAN is facing today difficult challenges of industry and jobs adjustments ushered in not only by the deepening and broadening of the ASEAN economic integration (due, among others, to next generation ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) programs, formation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and deepening ASEAN economic partnership with the different “Dialogue Partners”) but also because of the new technologies emerging under the ICT/Fourth Industrial Revolution and the changing forms of economic competition and cooperation within and across the ASEAN, East Asia and the Asia-Pacific.
These developments raise related concerns on the rapidly-changing ASEAN labor market, specifically on:
1) the participation of women workers everywhere at all levels of the labor market,
2) the increasing circulation of migrant workers across the region, and
3) the changing nature of employment and work relations in the ASEAN public sector.
All these developments require stronger, not less, social partnership between and among the tripartite social partners. This is what the 8th RTSDC seeks to tackle.
Mr. Ian L. Mariano, PSI Sub Regional Secretary for South East Asia, represented PSI AP Regional Secretary Lakshmi Vaidhiyanathan in leading the trade unions to thank the delegates and participants who attended this annual engagement with the ASEAN governments and employers.