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ABC Report on Indonesian Union Election Strategy

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Gratiane de Moustier: Hong Kong’s Indonesian Indentured Servants

Gratiane de Moustier: Hong Kong's Indonesian Indentured Servants

“A recruiter in Madium, Indonesia, checking a candidate’s fingers for cleanliness.” (Gratiane de Moustier/NYTimes)

“By creating conditions that keep Indonesian women tied to their debts, while limiting their movements and underpaying them, the Indonesian and Hong Kong governments and the recruiters force maids into a form of indentured servitude. The people of Hong Kong should demand that their government rectify the legal discrimination and provide more protections for their domestic workers. And Indonesians should do their part to reshape the recruitment system so foreign worker safety and dignity come before profits.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/opinion/hong-kongs-indentured-servants.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0)

Prabowo At FSPI National Meeting

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Prabowo Subianto at KSPI Meeting (credit: Prabowo Subianto Facebook feed)

Perspective presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto spoke at the national meeting of Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia (KSPI). Okezone has a slideshow from the event.

Have you seen other reports of meetings between 2014 candidates and labor unions? Or opinion pieces on the labor movement and this year’s election? Please send them along and I will post them.

E-Action from IUF: Stop Anti-Union Practices at Ibis Tamarin Hotel

"December 11 union rally for union rights and recognition at Accor's Ibis Tamarin Jakarta" (IUF)

“December 11 union rally for union rights and recognition at Accor’s Ibis Tamarin Jakarta” (IUF)

The International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) has an online campaign to end anti-union practices at Accor’s Ibis Tamerin Hotel in Jakarta, where workers are represented by Federasi Serikat Pekerja Mandiri (FSPM). You can read about the issue here and send a message here.

A summary, from the IUF:

In July this year and again in November, the union, affiliated to the national hotel and restaurant federation FSPM, submitted to management a list of demands, including issues around unpaid overtime, unfair distribution of the service charge on which employees rely, the conversion of contract workers’ jobs to permanent positions and the start of long-delayed collective bargaining negotiations.

The management response was swift and brutal. Contract workers who joined the union have been harassed and pressured to resign their union membership or been effectively dismissed through non-renewal of their contracts. Union members in the housekeeping department are harassed and victimized by their immediate superiors, told to resign their union membership, and in December two union members were pressured to sign false statements dictated by management stating that they were forced to join the union and now regret their actions. The union president remains unjustly suspended from work.

National Strike, Set For This Week

From The Jakarta Globe:

Around three million workers in 20 Indonesian provinces will join national strikes on Thursday and Friday in support of improved welfare conditions.

Said Iqbal, the president of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union, said in a press release that hundreds of thousands of companies in forty industrial regions would cease production during the stoppage.

“There’s no political motive in this national strike,” he said. “Worker unions are purely fighting for the welfare of the workers.”

Said said that the unions were demanding an average national wage increase by 50 percent. In Jakarta, they were expecting the minimum wage to be set at Rp 3.7 million ($334).

Apart from wages, workers are demanding universal health coverage for all Indonesians by Jan. 1, 2014 and for the elimination of outsourcing.

From Nobodycorp.:

Reads: "Ayo Resist! Resist Low Wages / Resist Outsourcing / Social Security for Everyone"

Reads: “Ayo Resist! Resist Low Wages, Resist Outsourcing, Social Security for Everyone”

Aside

“[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