Category Archives: Service Sector

E-Action from IUF: Stop Anti-Union Practices at Ibis Tamarin Hotel

"December 11 union rally for union rights and recognition at Accor's Ibis Tamarin Jakarta" (IUF)

“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.

Grand Aquila Campaign & the Right to Organize

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.

ILO Releases Decision On Dispute at Hotel Grand Aquila

Workers who have been denied the right to organize a union at the Grand Aquila Hotel in Bandung received positive news recently when the ILO issued a statement in their favor.  The decision from the ILO stated that there is evidence that the hotel violated the workers’ right to freedom of association when it unilaterally fired 137 after they informed the hotel that they had formed a union.  The ILO gave the Indonesian government as series of recommendations urging it to take the necessary steps, including potentially issuing sanctions, in order to reinstate the workers and give them the freedom to form a union.

Workers Chain Themselves To Gate Outside Hotel Grand Aquila in Bandung (Detik)

Following the decision,workers held a demonstration in which they tied themselves to the gates of the hotel, demanding that management follow the recommendations of the ILO and respect their right to form a union.  The workers are attempting to form a union affiliated with Federasi Serikat Pekerja Mandiri, a hotel workers union affiliated with the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF).

It will certainly be interesting to see how this decision from the ILO impacts the campaign, which began in September 2008, particularly whether workers can capitalize on this symbolic victory and turn it into real leverage with either the government or the employer.   For background on this organizing campaign, see our previous posts here.

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.

Update on Grand Aquila Campaign

The International Union of Food Workers (IUF) recently released this update on the on-going campaign by Federasi Serikat Pekerja Mandiri (FSPM) to organize workers at the Hotel Grand Aquila in Bandung, which resulted in 137 workers being fired, with management targeted union leaders.  The union is currently seeking criminal charges based on a 2000 law protecting freedom of association, an article of which “makes it a criminal offense for an employer to punish workers exercising the right to freedom of association.”

As the IUF admits, the law is rarely enforced and, according to last month’s Tempo article on the dispute, FSPM has had previous attempts to bring criminal charges blocked.  The IUF does point to one successful prosecution of the law in February, a case brought by the metalworkers union, Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal (FSPMI), against the Japanese owned electronic component manufacturer PT Kim Jim Pasuruan (KJI).

FSPM members rally outside the gates of the Grand Aquila Hotel Bandung, Indonesia (from IUF Asia)

FSPM members rally outside the gates of the Grand Aquila Hotel Bandung, Indonesia (from IUF Asia)