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IndustriALL appeals for Indonesian union leader to be reinstated

5 September, 2018IndustriALL Global Union is demanding that the president of its Indonesian affiliate, the Federation of Pharmaceutical and Health Workers Union (FARKES), is reinstated after being sacked from his job as a hospital assistant manager on 29 August.

Idris Idham has been working at the Rumah Sakit Islam Jakarta Pondok Kopi hospital in Jakarta for the last 24 years, and has been chairman of the local union branch of FARKES at the hospital since 2000. 

Idham was fired for failing to use the finger printing machine at the hospital to clock in and out of work. As part of the collective agreement between the union and the hospital, Idham has the right to take union leave. He would often carry out these activities at the union offices in the afternoon, meaning that he could not use the hospital finger print scanner at the end of the day. 

Idham has been under pressure from hospital management since he was elected president of FARKES and vice-president of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions, KSPI-CITU in 2017.

He received his first warning letter in December 2017, and although an economics graduate who worked on financial matters, he was transferred to the hospital’s security unit. Pressure from management increased further when he expressed concerns about outsourcing workers at the hospital and made allegations of mistakes made by the director.

Idham received a second warning letter in April in 2018, and on 13 August 2018 he was suspended indefinitely until finally being sent a letter of dismissal on 29 August, which he has rejected. 

IndustriALL’s general secretary, Valter Sanches, has written to the Minister of Manpower in Indonesia, whose ministry is on the supervisory board of the hospital, urging him to reinstate Idham as soon as possible, describing his dismissal as a “thinly veiled attempt at union busting”.

In a letter on 4 September, Sanches wrote: 

“IndustriALL Global Union urges the Government of Indonesia to act immediately to guarantee the respect of fundamental workers’ rights at Rumah Sakit Islam Jakarta Pondok Kopi, which should include the immediate reinstatement of Idris Idham, and put an end to acts of intimidation and threats against union leaders and members of FARKES.”