AEON Group Union Global Network Committee Meeting in Japan, 5-7 December 2016
The annual evaluation of the Global Framework Agreements was held jointly between UNI Apro, UA Zensen Japan and the management and unions of AEON and Takashimaya. It was followed by the first AEON Group Union Global Network Committee Meeting was held in Tokyo, Japan from the 5th to 7th of December 2016. This meeting was attended by more than 30 AEON trade union leaders from various Asian countries with the key objective of creating awareness and solidarity among the leaders of AEON Group Unions and the Company management.
UNI Apro was represented by Bro Christopher Ng, the Regional Secretary of UNI Apro, Bro Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal, Vice President of UNI Apro and President of UNI MLC, Bro Satoshi Tamai, the Director of UNI Apro Organising and Campaigns, Bro Kun Wardana Abyoto, Director of UNI Apro ICTS, Sis Alice Chang, Director of UNI Apro Commerce and Youth Activities and Sis Yoko Ogawa, Director of UNI Apro Equal Opportunities.
The opening speech was delivered by Bro Takahashi, President of AEON Union Group Workers’ Union which was followed by a speech from Bro Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal.
Bro Chris made the keynote address on behalf of UNI Apro. His speech highlighted the challenges and upcoming developments confronting the region. Income inequality and social divide had been accelerated by the global economic and political crisis over the past years. A fourth industrial revolution based on intensified implementation of technology will likely have a great impact on the world of work. Bro Chris believes that these are not insurmountable challenges. They could be overcome only if everyone works together in partnership and pulling in the same direction. Such social partnership is already taking shape in the form of UNI Apro working together with the Japanese trade unions and AEON management in their investments. He hopes that this model will prove to be an enduring success which can inspire others to emulate.
The meeting had the honour of having Mr. Motoya Okada, the President of AEON Group, in attendance. He stayed for over an hour and expressed deep interest in the proceedings. It was a heartening moment for all the delegates to hear him praise the importance of having trade unions as a key partner working together with the management to grow the company. He also said that it is important that relations between both union and management should be less rigid and bureaucratic. Bro Mohamed Shafie, in his capacity as Vice President of UNI Apro, presented a plaque to Mr. Okada in appreciation of his inspirational leadership. The citation reads: “An inspiring and visionary businessman who stands tall amidst economic and political challenges to champion the people’s interests and create more prosperous societies to secure peace, harmony, stability and better life for all people in Japan and Asia.”
The meeting ended on a meaningful note which saw the adoption of a statement that recognises all the AEON Group unions from different countries pledging to work together as one solidarity network and community based on shared principles.
UNI Apro staff and AEON Group Union members gathered for dinner the night before on 4 December and Bro Christopher presented a token of appreciation to Bro Niizuma, past President of AEON Japan Union, for his services rendered and to recognise his pioneering role in promoting partnership industrial relations.