Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 29

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21

Chapter 29 STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF WORKERS AND THEIR TRADE UNIONS

In order to achieve sustainable development, it is increasingly important to consult with workers and the trade unions that represent them, which are in the front line of changes in industry and employment. Also, the voluntary activities of trade unions are not limited to work places and enterprises, covering regional communities and households, and are expected to play a role in the field of environmental conservation.

As can be seen in the case where activities are aimed at the realization of sustainable society and conducive to environmental conservation and recycling, under the slogan "Aiming at Environmentally Friendly Trade Unions (Eco-Union), some of the Japanese trade unions have conducted positive activities for the realization of a sustainable society.

Some trade unions have been involved in international cooperative activities from a global perspective, including their participation as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in the "'92 Global Forum' held in conjunction with the Earth Summit.

In addition to being involved in such activities as submitting requests to Japan concerning policy and institutional matters, expressing their opinions in advisory councils, submitting requests to local authorities, they are conducting activities in work places and regional communities, taking up a wide range of subjects, including movement for legislation such as that for the Basic Environment Law, the promotion of waste reduction and recycling, and tree-planting activities. Also, industrial federations of trade unions and enterprise unions participate in and observe industrial and enterprise-related activities respectively, and are involved in campaigns for recycling and energy and resource saving, taking up the issues specific to those industries and enterprises.

The Government for its part will carry out the following activities:

(1)
Japan will promote the active participation by workers and trade unions in the decision-making process as regards the environment and development through the Japan Committee for Global Environment, which was established in May of 1991, as well as through talks with trade union representatives, etc.
(2)
Japan will make efforts to improve the environmental education and environmental learning of workers so that they can increase their awareness concerning environmental conservation and can actively participate in sustainable development.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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