“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.
Eric Lee has written an article for In These Times on the role of the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) in helping the Nestle workers in Panjang reach a settlement.
At its recent world congress in Geneva, IUF affiliates stepped up to the plate to show their support for their fellow union members. They did this not by passing resolutions and sending protest emails —though that may well be part of a campaign. Instead they raised money, lots of money, to sustain the workers during what is turning out to be a long and bitter dispute.
Throughout the congress, the chairperson would make periodic announcements as unions made pledges of thousands of dollars. At one point, the IUF’s General Secretary, Ron Oswald, announced that rank-and-file workers at a Nestlé factory in the U.K. had raised £1,000 (about $1,550) for their brothers and sisters in Panjang.
If Nestlé thought they could get away with quietly intimidating union members in a far away corner of the world, they were sorely mistaken. Though international trade union solidarity may sound like a thing from the past, the IUF announced its campaign on the web, Facebook and Twitter.
At a meeting in Yogyakarta, the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) and the hotel workers union Federasi Serikat Pekerja Mandiri (FSPM) called on the Indonesian government to improve working conditions in the tourism sector and threatened to report it to the UN-sponsored World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE).
From The Jakarta Post:
Hemasari Dhatmabumi, Indonesia’s representative for the International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF) said they, alongside the Independent Workers’ Union Federation (FSPM), would report the Indonesian government to the World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) under the auspices of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), should it fail to immediately provide welfare assurance and protection to the workers.
“We demand that the Indonesian government immediately adopt the WCTE regulations and enforce the 2009 Tourism Law,” Hemasari said at the opening of the meeting in Yogyakarta on Tuesday.
[note]: The Jakarta Post misspelled the name of Hemasari Dharmabumi
You can send a message calling on Nestle to end its union busting practices in Panjang, Indonesia and Kabirwala, Pakistan. In Panjang, Nestle has fired 53 workers who participated in a strike, which is part of a long campaign by workers to secure the right to bargain over wages. You can read a longer history of the Nestle Panjang campaign here.
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.
The International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) has a new online campaign in which you can send a message in support of three Kentucky Fried Chicken workers in Thailand who were fired for their union activity. You can read more about the case and a send a message in support of the workers here.
From the IUF:
Three union activists have been dismissed from their employment at KFC in Thailand after they established a union and sought to bargain a collective agreement with KFC management… Apantree Charoensak, Krit Suang-aranan and Siwaporn Somjit , who were active as union representatives were terminated without notice or due process. The company then proceeded to harass and intimidate the remaining workers by holding a series of meetings putting pressure on them to withdraw their support for the union. The company, Yum! Thailand, which is a subsidiary of the U.S based Yum! Brands Inc. owns world famous brands such as KFC and Pizza Hut. Management has refused to negotiate with the union and has failed to attend a series of mediation meetings organized by officers the Ministry of Labour.
Workers at a Nescafe factory in Panjang have won an important victory, gaining union recognition and bargaining rights after a three year campaign, which I have posted about a number of times already. You can read about the victory below:
A settlement has been agreed which brings recognition and bargaining rights to the IUF-affiliated SBNIP at the Nescafé factory in Panjang, Indonesia.
The agreement, which was initialed by the IUF and Nestlé corporate management on March 28 and signed by the union and local Nestlé management on March 31, sets the stage for the SBNIP to bargain the Panjang workers’ collective agreement including the wage bargaining which Nestlé management had been steadfastly rejecting for years.
In the course of their 3-year struggle for recognition and full bargaining rights, the SBNIP stood up to harassment and systematic pressure on leaders and members. They received support in many forms from IUF members around the world through the Nespressure campaign actions.