Two successful campaign announcements were made today.
In the food industry, the IUF-affiliated Kirin Miwon Foods Workers’ Union (SPKMF) reached an agreement with management which won them the right to bargain wages for the first time. The victory came after two months of negotiating that began with management refusing to bargain over wages. As the IUF puts it, “The fight for the right to negotiate wages at Kirin Miwon is symbolic of many industrial struggles throughout Indonesia, where workers are systematically denied the right to bargain wages.”
In the garment industry, after over three years of campaigning, workers at PT Mulia Knitting Factory have won the right to unionize and will be affiliating with Gabungan Serikat Buruh Independen (GSBI). This was assisted by the Clean Clothes Campaign and it appears that a key part of the victory was leverage through pressuring international buyers, namely Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren, in order to pressure local management. You can read the full announcement here.
Would like to know more about this brief story in The Jakarta Post about over 100 workers falling into a trance in Garut, West Java:
Over 100 female employees of an artificial eyelash maker in the West Java town of Garut fell into a trance on Wednesday, forcing the management to bring production to a halt.
The rare incident took place just after the workers of PT Surya Garut Indah were about to return to work after a lunch break. Quoting a security guard, Antara reported that one worker fell into the trance, which quickly spread to others.
“They became enraged with their eyes turning red, while screaming and uttering unclear words,” security guard Nurodin said.
It took a spiritual healer over one hour to help the workers regain their consciousness, Nurodin added. The management then asked all the workers to go home to prevent the incident from recurring.
The spiritual healer, Junaedi, said a number of workers had resisted his attempt to cure them. Some of them spitted on him, he added.
He said the cause of the trance remained unclear.
Okezone is reporting the creation of a new labor federation representing port workers, the Trans Union Federation (TRUF). The new federation is made up of five previously independent unions from the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT), Terminal Peti Kemas (TPK) Koja, Angutan Pelabuhan Indonesia (API), Rumah Sakit Pelabuhan (RSP), and Terminal Peti Kemas Surabaya. The new federation claims 7,500 members and is Indonesia’s 84th labor federation.
We are deeply concerned with the critical political condition in Iran and condemn repressive actions taken by Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s authoritarian regime against education and labor unionists fighting for freedom and true democracy in that country…As a predominantly Muslim country, Indonesia should intensify its diplomatic approach to pressurize the Iranian government to release unionists sent to jail without any trial before the court.
Hanafi Rustandi, Chairman of the Indonesian Seafarers’ Association (KPI) and Chair of the Asia-Pacific International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), quoted in The Jakarta Post.
Be patient and have hope that your problems will be solved very soon…I will make sure that the President and the manpower and transmigration minister handle this issue properly and immediately.
First Lady Kristiani Herawati, to a group of 40 migrant workers at a shelter for victims of human trafficking (Jakarta Post)