Govt urged to end outsourcing
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Labor unions have threatened to stage a nationwide strike next month if the government does not act to end outsourcing practices.
The unions, including the Confederation of All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI), Confederation of Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (KSBI) and nine other labor union federations announced in a joint press conference on Monday that in addition to the planned strike, more than 1 million workers were expected to picket industrial areas in 14 municipalities and regencies in mid September.
“The strike will proceed peacefully but if the government refuses to listen to our demands, we will step up our efforts by occupying toll roads and other public facilities until the government enacts a moratorium on outsourcing practices, which contradict the Labor Law,” KSPSI chairman, Andi Gani Nena Wea, said.
Andi said that workers could resort to the use of force if the government and employers insisting on violating the law against outsourcing.
A survey conducted by the alliance of the labor unions found that 15 million workers were employed under the outsourcing system — more than 50 percent of 33 millions workers employed in the formal sector.
Following a controversial compromise between employers and unions on the 2003 Labor Law, companies are increasingly switching to outsourcing for non-essential employees including those in the security, transportation and cleaning services to cut costs. The flexibility of the outsourcing system allows employers to lay off a majority of their workforce before the Idul Fitri holiday and reinstate them after the holiday so as to avoid paying holiday allowances.
“Dismissed workers are warned that if they report their dismissal to the government, they won’t be hired again,” said KSBI chairman Mudhofir.
Since the passage of the law, massive, and at times violent rallies against outsourcing have taken place in Jakarta and other major cities across the country.
As a result of public pressure in 2005, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered seven state universities to conduct an in-depth study on controversial issues of the new law, including provisions related to outsourcing. No action has been taken to follow up on the = study’s findings.
KSPI chairman Said Iqbal said workers also opposed the recent ministerial decree’s 50-component decent wage criteria, arguing that majority of workers remain underpaid and poor.
“The government added only four components to the list of criteria because employers rejected the 86 components proposed by labor unions. With the new decree, most workers will not see any significant wage increase in January 2013.
“This is why we have demanded the government to instate a one-year moratorium on outsourcing and to bring employers, not their human resources managers, to discuss these central issues,” he said.