Across Asia, multinational corporations are pushing an agenda of outsourcing, subcontracting, and short-term contracts to minimize their responsibility for labor rights violations and to keep out independent, democratic unions. Throughout the region, millions of migrant workers have few legal protections and face precarious employment and unsafe positions. Migrant fishers and domestic workers frequently face not only institutional discrimination, but also sometimes physical abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of their employers. Despite mass dismissals, the risk of arrest, and increasing restrictions on civil society, workers and grassroots labor organizations continue to fight back and advocate for workers' rights.
This regional conference in Taipei City, Taiwan, will bring together labor activists from across Asia for skill-building workshops, strategy discussions, and cross-sector networking. It is a great opportunity for experienced and emerging rank-and-file union and labor activists to share and learn organizing approaches, discuss strategies around defending workers and labor activists under threat, and strengthen existing and build new cross-sector and international solidarity necessary to confront global capitalism.
The list of workshops is in formation. Workshop topics may include:
- Labor Notes' Secrets of a Successful Organizer (which has been translated into Japanese and Traditional and Simplified Chinese) and Troublemakers’ School trainings
- Organizing strikes in Asia
- Labor migration and forced labor in the seafood industry and domestic work
- Organizing in high tech and service industries like electronics, call centers and sanitation workers
- Challenging informal, seasonal, and precarious work in palm oil plantations, food chain work and higher education
- Cultivating women workers’ leadership, addressing gender-based violence, and the #metoo movement in Asia
- Campaigning around occupational health and safety
- Building networks and solidarity with workers and groups facing repression
- Organizing in the context of Chinese foreign investment under Belt and Road Initiative
- Challenges to CSR and bargaining in the global economy
- Strategic corporate research and building transnational campaigns
The conference will be held with simultaneous interpretation provided between Mandarin Chinese and English, and conference organizers will work with participating groups to arrange interpretation in additional languages.
Conference venue and hotel information will be announced soon.
This conference is co-sponsored by Labor Notes and the International Labor Rights Forum.
For questions or more information, please contact labornotesinasia2019 [at] gmail.com (subject: Labor%20Notes%20Asia%20Regional%20Conference) (Kevin Lin) at the International Labor Rights Forum.