One voice, unify power, unify actions for workers rights

Today (Wednesday/7 March 2012) Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia (KSPI) holds a national workshop for its union members at YTKI Building, Jakarta. The workshop takes “Demanding State Roles on Decent Wage, Outsourcing and Freedom of Association,” for its theme. 100 participants from representatives of National Board Council, National Executives and members of KSPI affiliates attend to the national meeting.

Why is the workshop important? Because KSPI along with its affiliates want to review decent wage and outsourcing issues aside from to demand state responsibility to protect workers. In addition, the workshop wants to consolidate roles of local activists in order to make their struggles have a strong and solid root.

Minimum wage in Indonesia is set based on a survey of decent living needs (DLN) of which then becomes a basis for Wage Council to give its recommendation to governor or mayor/regent. Components of DLN are from Minister of Manpower Decree No. 17/2005 and referred to in determining minimum wage which then considered as a decent wage. However, in real living, minimum wage cannot meet the basic living needs of a worker. Many workers have to have a double-job or look for another source income outside their working hours. The minimum wage has made workers working with a minimum and insufficient rest. Basically, minimum wage is for a worker who is single and his/her services are less than one year. In practice, minimum wage is also applied to workers who have a family and work for more than one year. 

There is more than often a problem(s) arise during minimum wage setting process. Minimum wage sometimes is set below standards of decent living needs which are determined in Manpower Minister Decree No. 17/2005. The situation creates problems for labour activists at some locals. Labour desires for a minimum wage matching with decent living needs are frequently clashed with employers’ interests which are low wage. This occurs every year.

State as a party who has roles in stabilizing labour situations is seemed hands-off. Policies taken by government are still not yet improving wage (welfare) of workers. As a result, workers, as if, are left alone in arena of decent wage setting struggle.

Situation surrounding decent wage is similar to situation of job security, especially outsourced workers. Outsourcing which is a logical consequence of market flexibility sometimes crashes with basic workers rights. Uncertainty status, indecent wage, unavailability of social security and health and safety insurances are among the most prominent problems in outsourcing.

Outsourcing legitimized by government under Law No. 13/2003 on Manpower has created a suffering to workers. Debates over types of works allowed to be outsourced and over status of the outsourced workers have created clashes between workers and employers. In fact, outsourced workers are not protected by government and driven to have a clash against employers.

Wage and outsourcing have become issues unions frequently are fighting for. Unfortunately, union movements in fighting for the issues also reap another problem. Workers joining a union have to face intimidation from their employers because of their active involvement in fighting for welfare of their members. Employers only understand freedom of association in limited senses which is allowing workers to establish a union.

Union busting cases often arise because of union struggles for protecting its member’s rights. And, cases of violation against freedom of association have become difficult to solve out because of weakness in law enforcement to protect union busting victims. It seems that State does not exist for protecting union activists and guaranteeing freedom of associate.

The phenomena, as if, implicitly have showed that government does not want to be involved in. Basic concept of industrial relation placing State in balancer roles in order to make gap between employers and workers small is almost does not present. In fact, State has a power that can change the imbalance situation of employment.

Besides brother Said Iqbal, President of KSPI, as a keynote speaker at the workshop, KSPI also invites Mrs. Rieke Diah Pitaloka, legislature at Commission IX at House of Representatives, brother Surya Tjandra Director of TURC, Mr. Ma’mur Keliat, lecturer at Social and Political Sciences Faculty of University of Indonesia, Mrs. Rina Herawati, a researcher at AKATIGA, Mrs. Wahyu Indrawati and Mr. Muji Handaya from manpower and transmigration ministerial.

Further information, please  contact Mr.  Muhammad Rusdi, KSPI General Secretary: : kspi_citu@yahoo.com atau kspi_citu@cbn.co.id

Comments on: "Demanding State Roles on Decent Wage Outsourcing and Freedom of Association" (1)

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