National trade union representatives from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand took part in the symposium.
Sister Lakshmi, PSI-AP Regional Secretary, spoke during the inaugural address on behalf of the Global Unions. She talked about the engagement with the multilateral financial institutions for ensuring Core Labour Standards, the need for public investment, a fair and equitable taxation, and engagement with the regional groupings like ASEAN, SAARC, BRICS, etc. She also shared the PSI campaigns in Thailand, Philippines and India for ratification of ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 151. She suggested looking at the unexplored areas and coming up with new strategies to achieve the universal ratification of core conventions by 2015.
Bro. Raman Kannan, Sub Regional Secretary, PSI-South Asia was a panellist in the session on ‘Global Union efforts to promote fundamental principles and rights at work’. He presented the efforts of PSI affiliates to secure rights for public employees, new strategies to organise informal workers in the organised sector, the dialogues with ADB to ensure CLS, the mobilisation during the ILC, the project based approach to ensure rights at work at Korea, Philippines, Thailand and India, and the push to increase trade union density. An important point of the panel discussion was the increased co-operation between national trade union centres and the GUF affiliates in each country to secure freedom of association and collective bargaining.
The country delegates prepared an action plan for the coming years to secure ratification and application of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Conventions.