The 334th session of the ILO Governing Body was held October 28-November 8, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. The agenda of the session had several important carry-over items for decision, which were not resolved when the ILO staff staged a strike on the last day of the 333rd Governing Body session last March. In particular:
1. The GB finally came to a decision on the tobacco issue. As earlier reported, the Workers Group and some governments wanted to follow a UN non-binding resolution not to accept funds from the tobacco industry for fear the industry may influence policy matters involving tobacco control. The employers opposed this, because the tobacco industry is a legal industry and its financial assistance will be used for ILO projects to eliminate child labor. After contentious debates, the GB decided last November 8, 2018 that the ILO will come up with an integrated approach to the tobacco issue and in the meantime regular budget funds will be used for the ILO elimination of child labor projects.
2. On the supervisory system, progress has been made in that there is now a procedure for the closure of cases as agreed upon by the tripartite partners. There is still a lot to be done, however, and I reiterated the need to tighten the rules on receivability of complaints so that only meritorious cases should reach the CAS or the CFA. During this session, there were three Cases involving the Philippine government which were taken up at the CFA. But these were follow-up of cases discussed in November, 2017.
3. There was a vibrant discussion among employers to pursue vigorously the implementation of tripartism in various areas of work in the ILO and even in the appointment of personnel. Added to this was a critical evaluation of the meaning and substance of the Future of Work, and the various activities being planned for the ILO centenary next year. The sentiment among the employers was that we were not getting a fair shake in the work of the ILO and that we should strongly expressed our demands in the debates.
Ancheta K. Tan
Deputy Employer Member, ILO Governing Body
President, ASEAN Confederation of Employers (ACE)
ECOP President Emeritus Ancheta K. Tan was elected as Deputy Member representing employers in the Asia Pacific region of the ILO Governing Body in 2017.
Tan’s term in the Governing Body is until 2020. The Governing Body is the executive arm of the International Labour Organisation. It meets three times a year, in March, June and November. Furthermore, it makes policy decisions , sets the agenda of the International Labor Conference, adopts the draft programme and budget of the ILO for submission to the Conference as well as elects the Director General.