Monthly Archives: January 2010

FSPM Turns Up Heat On Grand Aquila

Federasi Serikat Pekerja Mandiri (FSPM), a union representing hotel, restaurant, and service workers, appears to be escalating its organizing campaign against the Grand Aquila Hotel in Bandung, West Java.  According to Republika, the union is calling for the Bandung city government to repeal Grand Aquila’s hotel license, unless the hotel reinstates 137 workers who were fired and “black-listed” for taking part in the organizing campaign.

More ASEAN-China FTA Protests

The Jakarta Post is reporting thousands of workers protesting the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Surabaya and Semarang.  In Semarang, Central Java the Provincial Legislative Assembly deputy speaker Bambang Sadono met the protesters and announced that the Governor would send a letter to the central government asking for a postponement of the agreement.

Workers protest against the free trade agreement between ASEAN countries and China (ACFTA) during a rally in Semarang, Central Java. (Jakarta Post)

[Update]: Tempointeraktif.com has a similar report on the protest in Semarang.  Here’s a quote from protest coordinator, Nanang Setiyono:

For developed countries like China free trade is a profitable system but for the weak domestic economy, it will beat the small industries. This is a death bell for Indonesian workers

PLN Union Opposes Privatization

From The Jakarta Globe:

Trade unionists at state electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara are seeking a judicial review to overturn the new electricity law, which will finally open up the power market in to private sector competition.  The union, which said it will apply for a judicial review at the Constitutional Court today, claims the law is unconstitutional because it will benefit foreign investors, while driving up the price of electricity.

The article goes on to discuss the issue of privatization itself more than how it will effect the PLN union and its workers.  For a more comprehensive analysis of the PLN’s fight against privatization, I suggest this blog post by Indah Budiarti on the issue.

Protesting ASEAN-China FTA

Earlier this month a number of unions mobilized workers to protest the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement.  Federasi Serikat Pekerja Pulp dan Kertas Indonesia ( FSP2KI ) (Federation of Pulp and Paper Labor Unions Indonesia) announced on its blog that its going to hold actions outside government buildings throughout the provinces on January 28th.  It should be interesting to see if the ASEAN-China FTA becomes a major mobilizing issue for worker organizations.  If you know of other past or planned actions, please post them.

Surya Trjandra on “Imprisoning Employers?”

In February 2008, a general manager in Pasuran, East Java was sentenced to 18 months in prison for firing four trade union leaders, a decision that was later upheld by the Surabaya High Court and the Supreme Court.  Despite this ruling, the four dismissed trade unionists have not gotten their jobs back and the employer remains free.  In a recent Jakarta Post article, Surya Tjandra of Atma Jaya Catholic University in Jakarta gave his thoughts on what this ruling may mean for the future of labor relations in Indonesia.  Below is the conclusion to his article:

In Indonesia, such an ideal style of dispute resolution in labor relations may still need some time to manifest. The distrust between workers and employers has long corrupted the system, while there has not been much effort to resolve this.  Such a decision to jail an employer for misconduct against union activists, however controversial it is, must be seen as merely a stepping stone to balance the current disharmony within the labor law enforcement in the country.  This cannot be done through a single court ruling; instead it should be taken up widely and systematically, involving all stakeholders: workers and their unions, employers and their associations, and the government.

Earlier in the article, the author also points out that the choice by unionists to go through criminal courts instead of the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry or the Industrial Relations Court suggests a lack of credibility among these institutions.

Jakarta Workers Protest For Larger Minimum Wage Increase

From The Jakarta Post:

Hundreds of workers stage a protest in front of the city hall Tuesday. They demanded the governor revise the provincial minimum wage of Rp 1,118,009 (US$122), which was increased by 4.5 percent from last year, to Rp. 1,317,710. -- Jakarta Post/Indah Setiawati

“The recent increase is too small. We want the city to follow the reasonable living costs that were determined based on the survey conducted by the Wage Council,” Halili, a representative of the National Workers Union (SPN), said.

Indosiar Employees Demand Pay Raise

From The Jakarta Globe:

Around 200 employees of Indosiar, a private television station in Indonesia, were staging a rally in front of their office building on Jalan Daan Mogot in West Jakarta on Monday demanding better salaries and facilities.   The staff alleged that many employees had not received a pay raise in six years.  The demonstrators wore black Indosiar uniforms and red headbands. They carried posters with slogans on them such as “six years with no pay raise” and “don’t fool us.”   The head of Indosiar’s employee union, Dicky Irawan, alleged in his oration that Indosiar had not obeyed the Labor Law.  “There are many Indosiar employees who have worked here for five years but their basic (monthly) salary is under Rp 350,000 ($38). Overtime pay on holiday is only Rp 40,000 ($ 4.38). It is against the Labor Law,” Dicky said.