Asian Economic Miracle needs New Social Path
||UNI Apro Finance Conference responded with resounding “YES” for Philip Jennings call at the recently concluded conference in Bangkok on 29-30 August 2013.
“Unprecedented growth rates and rising levels of inequality in Asia are not sustainable,” said Philip Jennings UNI Global Union General Secretary. “We need to stand for value creation, strong labour unions to secure full time jobs, and a fair distribution of income.”
“We will not allow the new “Fast Food” type business models into the finance industry. Neither will we allow a management culture that attempts to shred social contract in Asia & Pacific,” stressed Philip who was speaking at the 4th UNI Apro Finance Sector conference held in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Finance sector activities has proved its relevance to the membership by drawing over 140 participants for the conference in Bangkok representing 29 affiliates from 14 countries in the region. The UNI Apro Finance Conference endorsed a work plan put forward which had a new goal to step up financial inclusions in society as a priority to create jobs and reduce income in-equality.
“Trade unions should take the lead in providing financial services to SMEs and marginalized, thus creating jobs in the whole economy,” said John West ED of Asian Century Institute who did a background paper for the conference titled Towards fair, inclusive and stable finance in Asia-- Advancing a trade union agenda.
According to John West, who is also the former Director of ADB Institute Tokyo, Asian finance is not effectively serving the economy and especially its citizens and Small Medium Enterprises [SMEs]. John said that the goal of decent work is being compromised by a growing number of finance sector employees coming from temporary work agencies.
“Addressing widening of income inequality in finance industry is a great concern amongst employees and trade unions,” said Jayasri Priyalal Director for UNI Apro Finance sector activities. Priyalal said that a study by IFC showed that 60% of SME do not have credit facilities from formal banking system and 1.5 billion adults in Asia and Pacific do not have bank accounts.
Marcio Monzane Head of UNI Finance global union shared the highlights of the UNI Finance global Job Loss survey to the conference. Marcio spoke on the various initiatives UNI Finance has introduced to push effective financial regulations. He also commended on the organizing success of UNI Finance affiliate FIEUN in Nepal.
On the agenda of the conference was also the election of the steering group members. The conference re-elected Yutaka Seki as President of UNI Apro Finance endorsing the confidence on the SOMPO ROREN leadership. The new steering group elected consists of four women titular members representing every region in Asia Pacific. This is a first for the Finance sector and a break through for UNI Apro.