“[The sound] is extreme, isn’t it? Sometimes, when I receive state guests or have other important events, it disrupts our activities. In foreign countries, protests using megaphones are usually regulated.”
SBY’s comments upon hearing hundreds of workers from Congress Alliance of Indonesian Labor Unions (KASBI) were protesting in front of the palace
The Asian TNC Monitoring Network has posted a petition calling on PT Astra Daihatsu Motor, and its supplier PT Fuji Seat, to respect Indonesian labor law. The petition claims that, along with violating Indonesia’s labor laws regarding contract workers, the company has intimidated and dismissed members of the local labor union (SERBUK Fuji Seat). For more information on the case, see here.
Today’s New York Times has a fascinating front-page article on Li and Fung, a apparel industry sourcing and logistics firm that is described by the AFL-CIO’s international affairs director is a key player in the industry’s race-to-the-bottom labor practices. The article mentions Li & Fung’s connection to at least one campaign in Indonesia, a union busting case at the PT Mulia factory in Jakarta, which I had previously posted about.
Here is the article’s explanation of Li & Fung’s link to Indonesia:
In 2007, more than a dozen garment workers at the PT. Mulia Knitting Factory in Jakarta, Indonesia, who were making clothes for Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger were fired, allegedly for trying to form a union — the kind of dismissal that violates Indonesian law. Li & Fung investigated and did not find any violations of workers’ rights, a spokeswoman said.
But labor advocates found that Li & Fung did not interview any of the dismissed workers and conducted all employee interviews in the factory, often with managers present. In explaining why it would not sever ties to the factory or push for reforms, Tommy Hilfiger cited the Li & Fung findings.
“Li & Fung claims to be monitoring factory conditions, but they don’t publicly release their investigation reports or even the full list of the factories they use, so it’s impossible for independent organizations to assess the effectiveness of their monitoring,” said Tim Connor, a former labor rights advocacy coordinator for Oxfam.
In a new article from the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Chris Manning and Devanto S. Pratomo looks the labor market outcomes for migrants and non-migrants, particularly if they end up in the informal sectors. The link to the article is here, but requires access. Here are the findings from the abstract:
We find that long-term migrants (LTMs) tend to gravitate to the small-business sector and to jobs with regular wages, whereas recent and very recent migrants are more likely to work in the informal sector. Our findings on the labour-market outcomes of successive generations of migrants are less conclusive. While a larger proportion of LTM children than that of their parents work in the formal sector, the children of migrant heads of households are less likely than those of non-migrants to find formal-sector jobs. We also find that distortionary labour-market regulations appear to diminish the overall benefits of migration.
A recent column by Anthony Sutton in The Jakarta Globe highlights the unsettling juxtaposition between the celebrated visits to Jakarta by the world’s most famous football clubs and the otherwise rampant dysfunction of the Indonesian football industry. Among other issues in the Indonesian game, there are serious labor issues involving player salaries. From the column:
The clowns were here before the English Premier League traveling circus arrived and will be here long after it is gone. The English clubs’ legacy is YouTube videos of crazy, crazy nights at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and that’s about it.
Indonesian players will continue to not get paid. I wonder if the likes of Olivier Giroud, Raheem Sterling or Fernando Torres spared a thought about them? I wonder if they even knew Indonesian footballers were ritually going months without receiving their salaries and the world’s governing body, FIFA, was happy to turn a blind eye.
I wonder if anyone touched upon Diego Mendieta, the Paraguayan footballer left to die a lonely death in a Solo hospital last year because nobody felt the need to honor contracts and pay him the money he was owed that could have at least seen him return home to spend his final days with family.