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Asia Pacific regional review: what does it mean for you?

The AP review sets out the way forward for building union power in the region.

Why did the review happen?

At ITF congress 2014 in Sofia there was agreement on a four-year work programme for the ITF, with a strategy based on four key areas or levers. These are:

  • Organising key hubs and corridors
  • Focusing on key industry players
  • Activating mass union membership
  • Following geographic shift

To put unions in the Asia Pacific region in the best possible position to follow the 4 levers strategy to meet present and future challenges and to build power, the regional committee decided they needed to make some changes.

How was the review managed?

The EB endorsed a plan to refocus and reprioritise the work of the region and recommended a future structure.

A steering group of regional executive board members and staff was asked to carry out the review and make recommendations to the AP regional conference in November 2016. The steering group looked at priority areas of work for the region, governance and staffing needs for the region.     

What were the key outcomes?

Sharon Li, ITF youth committee co-chair and women’s committee member, SOS Singapore:  “We have identified exactly what we should be focusing on, where the energy in the region should lie. We have been able to look at how we incorporate women and youth into our priority projects to make sure there is engagement at grass roots level.”

Priority work

There are now five main priority pieces of work for the region:

  • DHL campaign
  • Our Public Transport campaign
  • Chevron/LNG oil and gas
  • Fisheries organising
  • ICTSI ports campaign


The regional committee has been redesigned to provide consistent and strong leadership and to ensure the region achieves its goals and priorities. It is smaller and more integrated with the global governance, with more embedded representation for industrial sectors and women and youth.

The committee now also includes a small number of flexible seat for ‘project champions’ who are leading on priority projects.


A south-east Asia sub-regional office is being set up in Singapore. Each sub-regional office will operate as a centre of excellence in the region, with specialist expertise, to maximise practical support for unions.

“Building a new type of internationalism around empowering transport workers!” Watch a message from ITF president Paddy Crumlin on how the review is setting the region up for the future.

If you have a question about the review email so it can be included at plenary discussions during the Asia Pacific conference in Tokyo, November 28-30 2016.



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