Education International
Education International

EI launches a trade union rights project in Southeast Asia

published 24 June 2008 updated 24 June 2008

The ASEAN Sub-Regional Conference of the EI Trade Union Rights Network (TURN) will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 27-29 June 2008.

This conference will launch the TURN project, developped by Education International (EI) in collaboration with the Friederich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV). Thirteen EI member organisations from five Southeast Asian countries will participate to the TURN project:

  • Cambodia: Cambodia Independent Teachers' Association (CITA)
  • Indonesia: Persatuan Guru Republik Indonesia (PGRI), Federasi Serikat Puruh Pendidikan Pelatihan & Pegawai Negeri Sipil (FESDIKARI SBSI)
  • Malaysia: Malaysia Association for Education (MAE), National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), Sarawak Teachers' Union (STU)
  • The Philippines: National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (SMP-NATOW), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Teachers' Organisation of the Phillipines' Public Sector (TOPPS), Federation of Free Workers (FFW)
  • Thailand: National Thai Teachers' Union (NTTU), Private School Teachers' Association of Thailand (PSTAT)

This project proposes to equip these member organisations in the sub-region with the necessary tools and skills to improve the legal framework in which trade unions can operate. It will help enable teacher unions to influence public policy through the exchange of experience, solidarity and advice via a strong sub-regional trade union network.

TURN is envisaged as a four-year programme with three components of trade union education: training, research and network. It will be achieved at all levels: national and subregional, and possibly local. Union leaders will be trained in international labour standards, supervisory mechanisms, children's rights, equality issues, data collection and analysis, international complaint procedure, information and awareness raising. Trained participants will then replicate similar training in order to have a cohort of trained members. National seminars will assure the follow-up of the project in the countries involved.

The first round of workshops will take place in Indonesia and Thailand in August, while the rest will take place next January in Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines.