Asia/Pacific Regional Committee Meeting
“Capitalism in Europe is weakening the trade unions and future lies in the Asia/Pacific region where many Asian economies are becoming economic powers. Trade unions should ensure that the growth benefits accrue to its members,” said Klaus Wiesehugel, President of the BWI at the meeting on 2 December 2013 in Bangkok. A two-minute silence was announced by the BWI regional Vice-President and Chair, R.C. Khuntia, for thousands of lives lost during natural calamities (Phalin Cyclone, Orissa State, India; Haiyan Typhoon, Philippines) and also in industrial accidents particularly in South Asia.
Klaus lauded the work in the Asia/Pacific in particular Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Myanmar on various issues including minimum wages, social security, violence against women and ban asbestos. He urged the unions to play a bigger role.
Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of the BWI thanked all the affiliates for making BWI as one of the leading global unions and informed that the next four years focus shall be on Asia including China.
Apart from the regional committee members, there were a sizeable number of unions present as observers along with leadership from the new unions from Thailand, Vietnam and Timor-Leste. The regional report and political landscape was presented by Bro. Apolinar Tolentino, Regional Representative, Asia/Pacific.