Monthly Archives: July 2009

Toshiba Strike Update: FSPMI Back At Bargaining Table

The International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) has posted this update on the strike at Toshiba Indonesia, where 700 workers have been on strike since April 16th.  The company has refused to recognize a collective bargaining agreement previously signed by the management and fired 15 union leaders.  You can donate to the Toshiba workers’ strike fund here.

In other Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (FSPMI) news, 300 workers at PT Kymco Lippo Motor Indonesia have been locked out since October 2008 and unpaid since April 2009 are threatening to auction off company assests in order to pay back wages.  The IMF describes the strange turn of events below:

PT Kymco Lippo Motor Indonesia is a joint-venture between 75 per cent majority shareholder Kwang Yang Motor Company (Taiwan) and 25 per cent shareholder PT Lippo (Indonesia)….However, when a parts supplier filed legal proceedings against the company for failure to settle payments due, PT Lippo discovered that the Taiwanese management was mismanaging the company. The High Court in Jakarta later found the Taiwanese partner guilty of fraud and ordered damages for a sum of US$20 million in favour of PT Lippo and, pending the full settlement of the damages, the court ordered that company President Mr. Su Kou Chang be remanded in prison. Before the court order could be executed, the President of the company fled from Indonesia. 

Video: Nestle Workers Campaign

The IUF has put out the following video, which includes interviews of leaders of the Independent Nestle Trade Union Panjang (SBNIP). You can support the workers by sending a message through the IUF website here and check out their Nestle website here.

Update: Nestle Campaign

The IUF has posted this update on the campaign by Nestle workers in Panjang.  The campaign is focused on the issue of whether their collective bargaining agreement will include the issues of wages, a fundamental piece of most collective bargaining agreements but something that Nestle claims is a “commercial secret.”

If you haven’t already, you can send a message in support of the workers by clicking here.

Workers Protest At Nestle Office In Jakarta (IUF)

Workers Protest At Nestle Office In Jakarta (IUF)

FNPBI-Indepenen Declares Golput Strategy

The IndoLeft News Service has posted two articles (here & here) on an meetings held by the Front Nasional Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia (FNPBI-Indepenen) days before the presidential election, in which they resolved to boycott the election.  This is from the Surya Daily Online:

The workers also made six demands on the government. These were in the form of guarantees of the workers insurance scheme (Jamsostek), holiday bonuses, decent overtime wages, increases in the regional minimum wage, the abolition of contract labour and outsourcing and the freedom to organise…

According to [spokesperson] Irwanto, the character of the presidential tickets of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-Boediono, Megawati Sukarnoputri-Prabowo Subianto as well as Jusuf Kalla-Wiranto are clearly the same was they were in the previous era. By way of example, it was precisely when former president Megawati was in power that contract labour and outsourcing systems were put into place through Law Number 13, 2003 on Labour.

Organizing Becak Drivers

Becak drivers may be one of the most visible groups of informal workers where traditional trade union strategies don’t fit the structure of the labor market.  The Jakarta Post has this report on the work of the Jakarta Becak Association (Sebeja) in organizing against Jakarta’s ban an becak drivers.

Despite years of being banned, thousands of becak still operate in kampungs in West, East and mostly North Jakarta, says Marno Nandang Triwanto, from the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC). The becak drivers operate under fear of getting caught by public order officers, who confiscate any pedicabs they find.

These drivers are currently organizing a movement to protest the ban. Arguing it is unconstitutional, as it deprives them of their right to a livelihood, becak drivers staged a protest recently demanding the ban be lifted. Seventy-five drivers from North Jakarta pedaled their pedicabs to the North Jakarta municipal office, demanding the right to work.

From his becak in Koja, North Jakarta, Yusuf, 29, says he joined the Jakarta Becak Association (Sebeja) to defend his rights as a Jakartan.  “We need the money to live. I don’t mind not driving a becak, as long as the administration can give us jobs,” he says.  He adds he is enraged at the becak ban and at allegations of corruption among public order officers.

IMF: Support Locked Out Toshiba Workers

The International Metalworkers Federation is calling on its affiliates to support the strike fund of Toshiba workers in Indonesia who have been locked out since April 16th.

From the IMF statement:

More than 700 members of IMF-affiliate Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (FSPMI) went on strike at PT Toshiba Consumer Products Indonesia on April 16 after the company refused to recognize the collective labour agreement signed both by the union and management. Toshiba Indonesia also fired 15 elected trade union leaders at the plant despite stern recommendations from the Indonesian government to withdraw threats of employment termination.

The workers are demanding that the company honours the collective labour agreement and registers it with the Indonesian government and that all fired workers are reinstated immediately and without sanction.

To support the struggling Toshiba workers, IMF calls on its affiliates to contribute to the Toshiba Indonesia strike fund in support of the 700 locked out workers. The IMF has contributed US$3,000 to the fund and encourages others to donate through the new PayPal function on the IMF website, which can be found here.