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Labour disputes resolution in the ASEAN: the need for dialogue and compromise


Employees and employers need to reach a consensus if they want to deal with sensitive issues related to labour contracts and reduce labour disputes in the ASEAN region. That is the point of view of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and also the key point of a regional seminar on industrial relations that took place in Hanoi in two days 27-28 February, 2013.

     This event was organized by the ILO and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the ASEAN Secretariat with the support of ILO / Japan multilateral cooperation program.
     The 5th Tripartite Regional Seminar on Industrial Relations has offered opportunities for representatives of governments, organizations of employers and employees from the ASEAN countries to participate in dialogue and find solutions for the termination of labour contracts and outsourcing - the major cause of industrial disputes in the region.
      ILO Asia-Pacific Industrial Relations specialist, Mr. John Ritchotte, said: "Employees and employers need to face the difficult choices that require a certain amount of compromise. Balancing the needs for employment security and flexibility in the use of employees means that neither side will get everything they want, and compromise is often the only way forward. "
      Labour contracts are the key in formulizing labour relations, social protection and the first step of the application of labour laws.
      According to Mr. Tim de Meyer, ILO Asia-Pacific Labour Law Specialist, "The improvements in the legal framework for labour contracts - or more people getting labour contracts can help employees be recognized for their work, get better wages and better working conditions".
     According to Vietnamese Vice Minister of the MOLISA, the revision of the Labour Code shows the country’s efforts to improve harmony industrial relations and protect legal rights of employees and employers. In the process of upgrading labour laws and building better industrial relations is still underway in the ASEAN countries, dialogues between relevant parties are playing an important role.
     Mr. Shinichi Takasaki, Department Head for International Affairs of Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said "it is important for Governments to involve workers and employers in the process of making labour laws,”
      The Government of Japan has provided funds for improving industrial relations in the ASEAN countries since 2008 through the ASEAN-ILO/Japan Industrial Relations Project to improve industrial relations in the ASEAN countries, enhance the regional capacity to address the emerging issues in the field of labour and employment.