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Social dialogue in Palm Oil sector West-Kalimantan.

Strengthening the position of workers

Today was the closing of the pilot project of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) for the Palm Oil Sector in West Kalimantan (Kalbar), Indonesia. The project aimed to strengthen the social dialogue in the palm oil sector. Important for CNV Internationaal, since a good social dialogue between companies, governments and trade unions, strengthens the position of workers. The pilot was carried out by CNV Internationaal, with the support of the Dutch Banking Association (NVB) and the Dutch Company Agency (RVO).

Workers rights better protected

In a study that started in March 2020 on CBA’s, CNV Internationaal only found 10 CBA’s from a total of 421 palm oil companies, both plantations and palm oil processing factories in West Kalimantan Province. Amalia Falah Alam, country representative of CNV Internationaal: "Through the preparation of a CBA, we want workers' rights to be better protected, so that the number of disputes between employers and workers can be pressed.  However, getting there is not easy, there are many obstacles from the side of the company and labour unions.”

In order to encourage the strengthening of social dialogue that can result in CBA in the palm oil sector, CNV has provided training on CBA negotiations to trade unions and companies. Offline training was held in several cities, including in Sintang with participants from Kapuas Hulu, Sintang, Melawi, Sekadau and Sanggau, then in Pontianak with participants from Sambas, Bengkayang, Landak, Mempawah and Kubu Raya,  the last one was in Ketapang with participants from North Kayong and Ketapang.


Employers and employees telling about  improvements on the plantation. 


Falah Alam: “With these trainings we aim is to improve trade union skills in CBA negotiations, increase gender awareness for workers, as well as alternative approaches in advocating labor rights in the palm oil sector. In addition, we also organize several online webinars related to women's labor rights, children's rights, and other labor issues.”

Data transparancy 

Eva Smulders RBC Coordinator of CNV International: “In addition, data transparency regarding CBA is important for the banking sector in the Netherlands.  The banking sector allocates funds to finance palm oil businesses and wants to ensure that these funds are used responsibly and respect workers' rights.  For this reason, the results of the CBA and Company Regulation (PP/CR) analysis in this project are presented to the public on the SPOTT website.” Indonesia accounts for more than 50% of the world's palm oil.

Publication date 30 08 2022