Here’s a link to an article I have written for Inside Indonesia on the organizing campaign at the Hotel Grand Aquila in Bandung by Federasi Serikat Pekerja Mandiri.
If you don’t have time to read the full article, here’s the main takeaway:
For some, the long-running campaign at the Grand Aquila has exemplified Indonesian workers’ post-reformasi freedoms. On paper Indonesia has some of the most worker-friendly labour laws in Southeast Asia. But employers continue to resist labour unions and the government appears unwilling to protect workers from violations of their labour rights.
As the labour dispute at the Grand Aquila enters its third year, it illustrates many of the hopes and concerns of Indonesian labour activists. The Grand Aquila workers’ dynamic campaign of street protests, government lobbying and international pressure is indeed an example of what is possible in post-reformasi Indonesia. Yet, when a campaign as vibrant as that of the Grand Aquila workers can make little progress and employers continue to intimidate labour activists with relative impunity, it’s clear that the bar remains high for Indonesian workers who desire a voice in the workplace.
You can find past posts on the Grand Aquila campaign here.