The Jakarta Post
JAKARTA: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he would accommodate the demand from international labor unions to speak during the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bali, slated for October this year.
'I just met leaders of the ITUC [International Trade Union Confederation] at my office. During the last APEC Summit in Russia, they conveyed their hopes to me that the upcoming APEC Summit in Bali next October would give space to the world's labor unions. But we will need a consensus to respond to the idea,' Yudhoyono told a Cabinet meeting at his office on Monday.
'If we talk about economic growth and investment, they always have to do with industry and labor. So I think the confederation's proposal makes sense,' he added.
On Monday, Yudhoyono met with ITUC secretary-general Sharan Burrow and ITUC Asia Pacific secretary-general Noriyuki Suzuki. Also joining the meeting were Confederation of Indonesian Prosperous Labor Unions (KSBSI) chairman Mudhofir and Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) chairman Said Iqbal, who represented Indonesian unions.
The KSBSI is the ITUC's affiliate in the country.
In the meeting, Yudhoyono applauded the role of the ITUC, which he said had helped provide an effective forum of cooperation between labor unions in the world. 'We're still facing challenges that need to be dealt with. Indonesia itself also still has homework to do,' the President said.
Burrow said globalization and the world's economic crisis had posed a great challenge to labor movements the world over. 'I hope Indonesia and us could discuss the current challenges faced by labor,' she said.
Representing about 175 million workers in 156 countries and territories and with 315 national affiliates, the ITUC is considered the world's largest trade union federation. It was founded on Nov.1, 2006 and is now based in Brussels.
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