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Indonesian unions fight for health and safety at work

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4 July, 2019IndustriALL's Indonesian affiliates met on 1 July in Jakarta to develop action plans to improve safety and health at work. 20 unionists, from nine of 11 affiliates, discussed a union strategy to fight for Hidup Buruh (long live labour).

Only 20 out of the 190 ILO conventions have been ratified by the Indonesian government. More seriously, only ten out of the 177 technical conventions have been ratified. Two important ILO Instruments related to occupational health and safety, like the Occupational Safety & Health Convention (1981, No. 155) and the Safety and Health in Mines Convention (1995, No. 176) are yet to be ratified, resulting in a low quality and poor enforcement of relevant national legislation and regulations in Indonesia.

The chair of IndustriALL's Indonesian council, Iwan, said:

"It is time for us to take the first steps towards guaranteeing good health and safety at work through our joint efforts with employers and the government. The ILO Conventions on occupational health and safety are good instruments for a social dialogue."

Participants made their action plans through a group work: The Indonesian Council will set up its OSH team, consisting of the IndustriALL affiliates, to do a survey on OSH situation and to lead its campaigns for the ratification of ILO Conventions of No. 155 and No. 176; each affiliate will set up its OSH department, encourage its local unions to appoint OSH union reps at workplace and to reactivate the existing legal mechanism of OSH committee at work.

In concluding the meeting, Iwan, said:

"We will make health and safety a top priority for the IndustriALL Indonesian council, as well as in daily union activities like collective bargaining. We start our struggle and march to save workers' lives and protect their health at work today. Hidup Buruh!"