Jennings at JAW Convention: “We must build a secure future for the 99%”
UNI General Secretary Philip Jennings, in a speech to the Japanese Automobile Workers union in Tokyo, welcomed their commitment to global union solidarity at a time when global production of Japanese cars outstrips domestic production.
Jennings thanked outgoing President Aihara for his commitment to UNI Global Union and his vision for global supply chain integrity. President Aihara is candidate to become the General secretary of the trade union centre Rengo. Jennings likened Aihara to the Japanese equivalent of Robin Hood "Ishikawa Goemon", stating that “Japan needs a Robin Hood to deal with the rapid growth of income inequality”.
Jennings welcomed the 2030 JAW vision statement which will deepen their commitment to international union cooperation and solidarity. Japanese auto companies began their push to overseas production in the 1980s, and since 2007 the overseas volume of production exceeds that of domestic production.
This transformation, and union recognition tensions in a number of countries, has prompted JAW to commit to an ambitious strategy to deepen international cooperation.
The 2030 vision of JAWs international activities has the goal to ensure basic labour rights, build constructive labour management relations and to contribute to the sound and sustainable development of companies in the global auto industry.
The statement refers to building alliances of unions in multinationals, building dialogue through global framework agreements with the aim of securing decent work through fair labour standards.
The vision of 2030 continues the JAW push for supply chain integrity. In a world where over 450 million people are employed in supply chain jobs. IndustriALL and UNI Global Union made history with ethical supply chain progress after establishing the Bangladesh Accord on garment factory health and safety. The Bangladesh Accord shows the way forward for a fair supply chain.
“Globalisation, demographic change, climate calamity, inequality and digital transformations are changing the very nature, content and structure of our work and civilisations. The choice is clear – do we secure a future for the good of all humanity, or just for the 1%?” said Jennings.
“We need to regulate AI and make sure that humans are in control and fight for a world of strong social pillars,” urged Jennings. “We can create a new world where the big 6 – Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Amazon, Google, Facebook – respect human rights, trade union rights, tax law and the highest standards of social responsibility. Governments must ensure that they invest in people throughout their lives and not simply move to dismissal.”
“Our priorities are to use digitalization to improve the quality of our jobs and to enhance our abilities, to use productivity benefits to enhance wages, cut hours and provide a better work-life balance. We Will not leave people behind – together with our affiliates we will build unions in new sectors.
In conclusion, Jennings reaffirmed UNI Global Union’s steadfast commitment to building a peaceful world. “From our 2010 Congress in Nagasaki, where we witnessed the horror of nuclear war, we have campaigned for nuclear disarmament and peace. We condemn North Korea’s hydrogen bomb tests - we call for the wild and irresponsible talk to stop and for North Korea to step back from the brink.”
Jennings congratulated Brother Takakura on his election as JAW President – an experienced union leader who has been engaged in international union activities for 30 years.