AELF Statement to ASEM12

The AELF11 in 2018 is the first one to be held after the institutional recognition granted by the ASEM Leaders in ASEM11 in Mongolia. Trade unions have stood committed to ASEM and its goals for more than 20 years, and the lack of institutional recognition so far did not discourage us from making robust contributions on the ASEM agenda. The most important AELF contribution is the role our advocacy played in introducing the ASEM Labour and Employment Ministers Conferences and the gradual development of policy on social justice issues including social protection, supply chains, and youth employment.

The AELF calls on ASEM leaders to ensure minimum living wages that are regularly adjusted for all workers, based on the cost-of-living evidence and negotiated with social partners. Seeking to guarantee workers’ rights, we ask the ASEM Leaders to discuss and agree on an ASEM Policy Framework for the digitalised workplace. We advocate that trade agreements between Europe and Asia should be assessed with realistic modelling before negotiations commence as to whether they would positively contribute to workers’ income and reduce inequality. The ASEM partners should prepare their economies, the workforce and communities to adapt to a changed climate including increased heat and other extreme weather events, and build resilience to guarantee clean water supply and food security for all in the future.