Dynamics and Diversity: Employment Relations in Asian Pacific Economies

24 to 26 June 2004 in Seoul, Korea.

The three days of November 2001 bore witness to the immense ability of the organizers of the 41” Asian Regional Congress of the International Industrial Relation Associations, for bringing together in Manila more than 500 international and local industrial relations scholars and practitioners. By any measure, the Congress was a resounding success.

The first two days of the Congress provided a forum for scholars, practitioners, students and policymakers to discuss industrial relations issues, concerns, lessons, and trends around its overarching theme – Toward Decency and Fairness: Changing Work and Employment Relations in a Globalizing Asia. The presentations were affirmations of the criticality and ideals of decent and fair standards of industrial relations in Asia’s globalizing economy.

On the third day, a sizeable group led by esteemed international academicians gathered in the main campus of the University of the Philippines at Diliman, for a post-conference research colloquium. The discussion centered, not just on the must of doing more, but on how to encourage, generate, implement and assess industrial relations research.

Inspired by the organizational capability of the convenors, the International Labor Organization offered to support the publication of the compilation of technical papers presented at the Congress, in addition to summaries of workshop proceedings. Hence, this publication.

On behalf of our respective organizations – the U.P. School of Labor and Industrial Relations and the Philippine Industrial Relations Society – we commend the Congress convenors for this singular achievement. We wish the readers of this print-material to savor it, to be analytical about it, then to be critical. By all means, get in touch with the authors, and let your perspectives on issues of interest be heard. Allow no stance to be a hindrance to further enriching the literature in industrial relations.

We take this opportunity to thank the paper presenters, our sponsors, the faculty and staff, our students, he participants, and the countless volunteers who assisted us, without whose valuable contributions the Congress would not have been the success that it was.