Wages are about to drop
Recently, hundreds of members of textile federation Garteks, one of CNV International's partner unions in Indonesia, took to the streets along with other unions. They demonstrated against a new law that allows employers to cut wages by 25 percent.
The members would like to see a more significant role for social dialogue, so that this kind of legalisation is not instituted with only corporate participation. The government should ask both companies and unions/workers what their demands are.
Decline in wages
This new legislation reaffirms that the Indonesian government is putting the interests of companies and employers' associations above the interests of the millions of textile workers.
In response to a declining number of orders due to the post-Covid economic crisis and the war in Ukraine, Indonesia's Ministry of Labor has passed new regulations allowing employers to cut the wages of workers in the textile sector by 25 percent. This legislation comes on top of the Job Creation Law, which has already dealt a major blow to workers' wages and labor rights.
Research by textile federation Garteks, confirms that employers are using the global recession as an excuse to further suspend labor rights. For example, workers are being forced to terminate their contracts and tens of thousands of workers are being laid off without severance pay and/or before the contract term is over.
In addition to the protests, Garteks is now pushing to stop the implementation of the wage cut at the factory level by engaging with employers and companies themselves and convincing them not to continue with the wage cut. But this is not a solution to the larger problem, which is that there is still too little social dialogue between workers, employers and the government. A representative of Garteks: "The government only knows the situation from reports, not 'on the ground'. Officials sit in air-conditioned offices, while unions are in direct contact with workers and really understand the impact of government policies on workers."
This is why CNV Internationaal continues to support textile federation Garteks in its lobby activities towards the government and companies to put social dialogue in the textile sector in Indonesia on the map.
Officials sit in air-conditioned offices, while unions are in direct contact with workers and really understand the impact of government policies on workers."
Publication date 08 06 2023