People before profits! Unilever joint venture workers in Indonesia demand a living wage

People before profits! Unilever joint venture workers in Indonesia demand a living wage

After years of sub-standard wages barely above the legal minimum wage, over 600 workers at the Kecap Bango factory in Subang, Indonesia, are holding protest actions demanding a living wage.

For years the union, SPMKB, has been unable to make progress through wage negotiations with management at the local company, PT AMB. Management repeatedly claims that it is Unilever Indonesia and its subsidiaries – as the joint venture partner, exclusive buyer and owner of the Bango brand – ultimately decides the wage budget. This has left the union unable to exercise their wage bargaining rights, while the vast majority of workers remain stuck at wage levels barely above the legal minimum. Cost of living surveys by the union show a serious wage deficit, with current wages well below a living wage needed by workers and their families.

“Kecap Bango is booming, Unilever is making huge profits, Workers are working hard, Workers get poverty wages”

The Bango brand is owned by Unilever and was described by the Unilever CEO as one of the company’s top global brands of purpose. Despite being a sustainable living brand, the workers who make Bango products are unable to benefit from a sustainable living wage.

 

 

Shame on Marriott! Stop victimization of union members and leaders, reinstatement now!

Shame on Marriott! Stop victimization of union members and leaders, reinstatement now!

Hotel workers continue to protest in front of Courtyard by Marriott in Bandung, demanding reinstatement of unfairly terminated union members and leaders. Although management claims the terminations were for “efficiency” reasons, their dismissal followed the union’s request to the Manpower Department (labour department) to investigate violations of labour regulations at the hotel.

Fairmont Bali Fight Continues: “We won’t be tired, We won’t give up, We won’t be silenced, If justice sinks, we will fight!”

Fairmont Bali Fight Continues: “We won’t be tired, We won’t give up, We won’t be silenced, If justice sinks, we will fight!”

As Bali slowly reopens to international tourism, unscrupulous employers are still refusing reinstatement. Workers from Accor’s Fairmont Sanur hotel resort were falsely declared redundant last July, when they were terminated for organizing a union. Management then tried to force them to surrender their union rights – and lie – to get their jobs back. Union members refused and are still fighting for justice.

On October 15 they continued their protest actions, with a banner declaring: “Revoke the terminations and reinstate the unilaterally terminated workers at Fairmont Sanur Beach”.

 

As tourism begins to recover, hotel workers in Bali and Bandung demand an end to unfair dismissals. Accor and Marriott are responding with unethical, unsustainable tourism.

With the Indonesian government’s success in the vaccination roll out and stringent measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, domestic and international tourism is starting to recover. Hotel and tourism workers are going back to work, once again on the frontline in exposure to COVID-19 and with a critical role in keeping hotel guests and travellers safe. The use of hotels for mandatory quarantine has already shown that hotel workers have the valuable skills needed to protect guests and the public. And it also shows the vital role of unions like FSPM in keeping hotel workers safe on the frontline.

Despite this, major international hotel chains like Marriott and Accor still refuse to recognize the value of hotel workers and to respect their rights. Hundreds of hotel workers arbitrarily dismissed by Accor and Marriott in Indonesia deserve to return to work. Yet Accor’s Fairmont Sanur in Bali and Marriott’s Courtyard in Bandung refuse to reinstate unfairly terminated workers. Protests continue in Bali and Bandung demanding reinstatement and an end to unfair dismissals and forced redundancies.

FSPM Bali members continue protest action demanding reinstatement at Fairmont Sanur Beach

Protests against unfair dismissals at Courtyard by Marriott in Bandung continue

world food systems workers call for action NOW on climate change!

world food systems workers call for action NOW on climate change!

In the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference [COP26] on 1-12 November 2021, food systems workers in the Asia-Pacific region are calling for urgent action on the climate crisis.

For more than a decade scientists have warned that the average rise in the earth’s temperature compared to pre-industrial times should not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPPC] released in August predicts that we risk exceeding this limit.

The report warns that we face an imminent ecological catastrophe, with devastating implications for human health. This includes the threat to crops, food supply and food security. See 2021 will not be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the year of action (or inaction) on the climate crisis. – IUF Asia-Pacific (iufap.org)

Yet the current food system itself is a major cause of the climate crisis. Large-scale industrialized agriculture and the corporate control of food and agriculture have created unhealthy, unsafe and unsustainable food systems that generate the greenhouse gases that are warming the planet.

This must stop. We need to protect the right to food and nutrition as a universal human right, promote safe and sustainable food systems, prevent a global health crisis and preserve the planet.

POSTERS

click here for PDF of the above poster

click here for PDF of the above poster

click here for PDF of the above poster

 click here for PDF of the above poster 

 

 

click here for PDF of the above poster 

“build back tourism in Indonesia!” On World Tourism Day hotel workers call for building back better, securing jobs & stopping unfair dismissals

“build back tourism in Indonesia!” On World Tourism Day hotel workers call for building back better, securing jobs & stopping unfair dismissals

On World Tourism Day, September 27, members of the IUF-affiliated FSPM held public rallies and marches in five cities across the country to call on local governments to support “building back” Indonesian tourism and to “build back better”.

They also protested against unfair dismissals and rights violations at hotel properties. This includes the mass dismissal of union leaders and members at Marriot’s W Bali Seminyak and Courtyard by Marriot in Bandung as well as Accor’s Fairmont Sanur in Bali.

For FSPM members building back better means recognizing the value of the work of hotel, restaurant and tourism workers, protecting job security and health, and respecting trade union rights. This is the only way to ensure the safe and sustainable recovery of tourism in Indonesia.

Indonesia is the first country sign the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics. On June 15, 2021, FSPM wrote to the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy welcoming the Government’s ratification of the Framework Convention. FSPM observed that the preamble to the Framework Convention makes a strong commitment to “full and productive employment and decent work for all” and specifically refers to the fundamental ILO Conventions including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. FSPM declared that:

In this crisis there are employers who negotiated with FSPM member unions and worked together to protect jobs and wages. These employers acted “ethically” by working together with our unions to limit the negative impact of this crisis on workers and their families. These ethical employers respected our rights and understood that our hard-working members deserved to be treated fairly. They also recognized that the skills and experience of our members are vital for the future recovery of the tourism industry in Indonesia.

Having recognized that some employers responded ethically, FSPM then drew attention to employers who did not:

However, we regret that there are some employers and hotel operators that were ‘unethical’ in facing the pandemic, choosing to impose mass redundancies and refuse to pay unpaid wages. These employers did not respect freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. Instead, they shifted the burden of this pandemic to workers and their families, causing great hardship. These unethical employers did not take care to consider the skills and experience of our members and to be ready for the recovery of tourism. Instead, these employers took a short-term view to save money and cut costs at the expense of jobs and livelihoods. This behavior does not support ethical tourism in Indonesia.

The World Tourism Day rallies in Jakarta, Bali, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya on September 27 drew attention to the importance of ethical tourism in building back better. At the same time this threw a spotlight on major international companies like Marriott and Accor who have chosen to be unethical in this crisis and recovery.