Trade union leaders from 26 nations met in Tokyo on Wednesday (28 March) to open the Seventh World Shipbuilding Conference.
Trade union leaders from 26 nations met in Tokyo on Wednesday (28 March) to open the Seventh World Shipbuilding Conference. The four-day conference (28-31 March) was organised by the 12.5 million-member International Metalworkers Federation.
The 150 delegates at the conference discussed various issues relating to the present state of the shipbuilding and repair industry. Among the topics on the agenda were forecasts of orders and investment trends, the implications of government aid, and measures to safeguard employment in the industry.
At Wednesday's opening session, Mr. Dan McGarvey, British President of the Federation's shipbuilding department, warned delegates that the "word shipbuilding industry is in a chaotic state and is in need of rationalisation."
He said that all workers are affected by economic fluctuations outside their control, but this is more so in shipbuilding than in any other industry. Shipbuilding, he pointed out, was one of the most profitable but vulnerable industries in the world.
SYNOPSIS: In Tokyo on Wednesday, the Seventh International Metalworkers Federation Shipbuilding Conference was officially opened.
Trade union leaders from twenty-six nations met to discuss the present state of the shipbuilding and repair industry.
At the opening session, delegates of the Metalworkers Federation were warned by their President of the "chaotic state" of the shipbuilding industry and its vulnerability to economic fluctuations.
After the first day, the delegates spent Thursday in neighbouring Yokohama, touring a Japanese shipyard.
Japan is currently world leader in shipbuilding, with a gross tonnage last year that represented nearly fifty per cent of the total world shipbuilding production. And of the ten largest shipyards in the world, all but two are located in Japan.
At present, the Japanese shipbuilding industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom in foreign orders. The total number of ships on order from Japanese shipyards is two hundred and sixty.