One voice, unify power, unify actions for workers rights

Photo by Vonny Diananto/FSPMI-KSPI

National action HOSTUM, abbreviated for Outsourcing Abolition and Declining Wage Refusal, is a movement to claim promises resulted from the succeed of Indonesia positive economic growth. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono admitted that sustaining Indonesia economic growth should bring about labour wage increment (Kompas, 12 July 2012). Yet, Indonesian workers seem not get benefits from the economy growth despite the fact they have been playing influential roles in creating the economy growth through the production increment of industrial sectors.

To make workers welfare is not difficult: a decent living wage is the standard to deliver purchasing power to workers, in addition to economy real growth leverage.  However, the irony happens. As KSPI (Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions) President Said Iqbal said, as cited in Bisnis Newspaper (12 July 2012), Indonesia is rich country with its number 16th Gross Domestic Product in the world but lacks of paying attention to its workers welfare.  Indonesian workers’ minimum wage is only 120 US dollar, far below Thailand workers who enjoy 320 US dollar in their pocket. In fact, Thailand GDP is twice lower compared to Indonesia.

Recent outsourcing practices which have been a recruitment trend in the employment system are inhumane and undermine the existence of workers because the practices are neither guaranteeing the future of the workers nor basic rights for a decent living. Those practices are part of low wage politic the government plays and instead of reflecting a fair wage they on the contrary impoverish the workers. 

Therefore, national action HOSTUM on 12 July which invites about 40,000 workers is not merely an action but a part of a larger movement for achieving a decent and dignified living for Indonesian workers and their family.

In this national action, KSPI also reported that delegates of the confederation had met with Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar. KSPI delegates consist of 10 (ten) representatives led by KSPI President Said Iqbal. In the meeting, sister Prihanani HS (from FSPMI) reported that the Minister had delivered several things:

  1.  Revision of Ministry Decree No. 17/2005 into Ministry Decree No. 13/2012 which turns number of Decent Living Needs from 46 items into 60 items is temporary in nature. If alternative concepts are available within 1 or 2 weeks, minister of manpower and transmigration will be ready to revise further.
  2. Minister of Manpower and Transmigration conveyed that government in cabinet meeting had agreed to no longer make low-wage politics for attracting foreign investment
  3. The minister affirmed that there would be no longer outsourcing practices which is not in accordance with provisions under Law No. 13 on Manpower
  4.  Manpower and Transmigration Minister also agreed to issue a moratorium on outsourcing practices which not in accordance with provisions under Law on Manpower. The outsourcing moratorium would be implemented through a mapping across various areas to see the effects because outsourced workers had reached 50% at several areas.
  5. Related to weakness in employment supervisory, government would establish a employment supervisory committee involving worker elements.

In responding to Manpower and Transmigration Minister’s statements, KSPI states that:

  1. Related to Decent Living Needs (KHL), KSPI rejects the 14 additional items to KHL components (from 46 to 60 items) because the addition is more quantitative in nature while its qualitative sides are very low, if they are conversed into currency nominal, the additions might only increase 48 thousands rupiah in workers’ earning.
  2. More items found by Fact Finding Team at National Wage Council related to real living needs of single worker such as cellular phone reload voucher, internet, jacket/seater, book/CD, bag are not included to item addition. However, KSPI appreciates government’s good-will in the revision and commitment of manpower and transmigration minister to open a space for another revision any time soon.
  3. Regarding outsourcing, KSPI welcomes the commitment of manpower and transmigration minister. However, KSPI conveys that government should be more courageous to issue a moratorium, not just give rhetoric.

Prepared and translated by Indah Budiarti

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