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Understanding the challenge of Industry 4.0 from a labour perspective

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30 October, 201870 unionists from IndustriALL affiliates and FNV Mondiaal partners in Indonesia met in Jakarta on 19 October to discuss the challenge and impact of Industry 4.0 from a labour perspective.

Opening the meeting, Iwan Kusmawan, chair of IndustriALL Indonesia Council said:

Industry 4.0 was introduced by the government and employers. Unions and workers are pushed to accept the challenge and also to face problems related to job losses.

For the discussion, there was a panel consisting of representatives from the ministry of industry, the Indonesian employers’ association, unions and media.

The representative from the ministry said that the Indonesian government is optimistic that Industry 4.0 will have a positive impact, and in April this year an Industry 4.0 road map covering five sectors was launched.

The five sectors to be developed for the forth industrial revolution are food and beverage, textiles, electronics and chemicals. The Indonesian government believes that Industry 4.0 can improve the competitiveness of Indonesian products in the global market and create 10 million new jobs by the year 2030.

The representative from Indocement-Heidelberg highlighted the importance of social dialogue between employers and trade unions to deal with the issue.

An action plan was agreed upon by the participants where workers and unions should see Industry 4.0 as an opportunity rather than threat, and increase awareness through education and trainings. To overcome the challenges, strategies should be developed, using the tools of international labour standards. Unions need to strengthen their collective bargaining agreements and include covering the impact of Industry 4.0.