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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 July 30 - August 19  > Zenroren holds international conference on peace
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2008 July 30 - August 19 [PEACE]

Zenroren holds international conference on peace

August 1 & 2, 2008
The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held an international conference from July 31 in Tokyo to share experiences and exchange views about labor efforts in defense of peace.

Ten representatives of six unions from the United States, India, Canada, Pakistan, and Vietnam as well as 84 activists from Japanese Zenroren-affiliated unions took part in the meeting.

In the keynote speech, Zenroren Secretary General Odagawa Yoshikazu said that the limitations of capitalism have become obvious regarding the economy, the food crisis, and environmental destruction and that U.S. military hegemony is deepening its isolation while “the workers’ cooperation in the movement for fair distribution of wealth and peace is developing.”

Odagawa called for common labor efforts to (1) impose democratic control on multinational companies in pursuit of the eradication of poverty and the fair distribution of wealth, (2) establish a nuclear-free Asia and Oceania and remove U.S. military bases from Asia, (3) increase activities towards the 2010 NPT Review Conference calling for a nuclear-free world, and (4) leave a record of atrocities in war and the damage and after-effects of the atomic bombing.

Following the keynote speech, overseas delegates spoke about their struggles in their respective countries. Representatives of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUT) pointed out the widespread use of “slave labor” by multinational enterprises under U.S. hegemony.

A representative of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers’ of America (UE) said that the movement against the Iraq War has helped the U.S. labor movement organize more workers.

On the second day of the meeting, APFUT delegate Pirzada Syed Imitias Ali proposed designating August 6 and 9 international days of trade union solidarity action. Regarding this proposal, all participants confirmed that both Zenroren and CITU would take the initiative in preparing for joint action.

In the concluding remarks, Odagawa said Zenroren and all other unions present in the conference would increase solidarity and cooperation in exposing multinational companies’ illegal practices and in opposition to neo-liberalism, that spreads social disparities and poverty. - Akahata, August 1 & 2, 2008
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