Metalworkers in the South Asia region commit to improved communications
Metalworker trade unions from South Asia examine how to improve communications and networking in the region; improving facilities, training and regular reporting were seen as the main challenges.
INDIA: Participants at the IMF South Asia Regional Communicators' Forum agreed on a common need to share information and develop a regional communication system. Such a network will assist workers in their joint struggles, particularly on issues of organizing, industrial disputes, trade, employment and development and the strong and growing presence of multinationals in the region.
Delegates representing IMF affiliates from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the Forum on June 19 and 20.
Lack of facilities and infrastructure were identified as some of the main barriers for building a communications network in the region. The need for training on the use of modern communication technologies was identified as an important step in improving communication capacity.
The number of different languages spoken in the region and poor literacy were also seen as a barrier to developing communication that is open and reaches both the leadership and membership of the unions.
The most important barrier is gaining the commitment of affiliates to building a network for sharing information and developing communication campaigns on common problems, such as organising in export processing zones in each of the countries.
The Forum programme included an introduction to IMF's global communication system, a discussion on regional priorities and the development of a regional publication for the exchange of information.
During the Forum participants viewed a series of short films feature in this year's Geneva Labour Film Shorts Festival and discussed how film can be used to inform, educate and organize workers. The movies of the film festival will be available here: http://www.labourfilmshorts.org/
A short exercise on writing for the IMF website and an introduction to various communication resources was included in the Forum's programme.
Gathered in Chennai, India participants also heard reports from local unions on the current situation at the Ford and Hyundai plants in the surrounding area.Jun 20, 2010 – Anita Gardner