Posted February 14, 2019 05:23:14 Singapore’s Lao trade unions are planning to launch a free trade union education initiative at its new trade center, located at the University of Singapore (US).
The union has already launched a few courses, including a free course on labour law, a free class on international labour law and a free business school course.
But the centre is the first time that the trade union movement in the Philippines has decided to launch an educational initiative, said Lao Tuanan Ker, the national secretary of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTSU).
“We are not only going to teach our students and the students of the country but also the people of the world,” Ker said.
“This is the way we hope to give people confidence that we are fighting for their rights and not against them.”
The trade union is launching the first free trade unions education initiative for the Philippines.
It will be launched at the US-based Trade Education and Training Centre (TETC) in Singapore’s Old Quarter.
The centre is being constructed on the site of a former military barracks where the US Army once stationed its headquarters.
The US military bases at the site have been abandoned for decades, leaving the facility in need of an upgrade.
“This is our opportunity to revive our national and international history and to educate our people about the rights and responsibilities of trade unions in the country,” Ker told Al Jazeera.
“There are many people in the community who are members of the LTFTSU who have come to our trade centre and are interested in learning about trade unions,” Ker added.
“We hope to inspire them and educate them in this way.”
Ker is optimistic that the initiative will help students and locals in the region, and that it will also have a positive impact on local communities.
“It will give people an idea about the trade unions and the rights of workers, and it will help people understand what trade unions have done in the past,” he said.
“The people in this community are the ones who will take action when things are bad, because they have a lot to lose if the labour movement doesn’t stand up.”
Kers hope that by launching the initiative, the trade groups in the area can start thinking about their future.
“That is our hope,” he added.
The LTFTU has been working closely with the local government and the US government on the project, Ker said, adding that the government has committed to help support the effort.
The trade unions will be able to offer free trade school courses to local people, including local youth, and they will also work with local community groups and government agencies to develop educational programs.
“When we have more education, we will make our students more productive,” Ker explained.
“They will also make the people in our communities happy.”
Follow Tianqiang Huang on Twitter:@tshuang