16 Jan 2020 Ferado

Indonesia: fears new bill will destroy workers’ welfare

INDONESIA: 15 January, 2020The Indonesian union movement is vehemently opposing a proposed bill on job creation, saying it will destroy workers’ welfare in near future. Nationwide protests are planned later this month, calling for the controversial bill to be scrapped.

In October 2019, Indonesian President Joko Widodo proposed to streamline overlapping Indonesian laws into two omnibus bills on job creation and taxation, with the primary purpose to attract foreign direct investment, ensure economic growth and create job opportunities. The two bills will amend total 82 Indonesian laws and 1,194 articles.

The Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI), the All Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSBSI) and Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) are condemning the bill for violating workers’ rights and benefits; among the most contested issues are abolishing the severance pay system borne by employers, ncreasing labour flexibility and eliminating criminal sanctions on employers.

The President of KPSI and the Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers’ Union (FSPMI), Said Iqbal, says that revising the minimum wage system to hourly-rate for those working below 35 hours per week is a regressive move that will fuel the informal economy and make workers poorer. Iqbal is concerned workers could lose the monthly-rate minimum wage for being on sick leave or fulfilling religious obligation.

“We strongly oppose the proposal to limit unemployment benefits six months. Under the current laws, workers enjoy a maximum severance pay of nine months, in some situations even 18 months, and on top of that workers can receive maximum ten-month service pay. All those benefits will disappear,”

says Iqbal.

“We demand that the government consults trade unions while drafting the bill and remove provisions detrimental to workers, like severance payment, widening the scope of labour outsourcing from the existing five area of works and abolishing criminal sanctions on employers who failed to pay minimum wage,”

says KSBSI president Elly Rosita Silaban.

She added that KSBSI supports the revision of labour law due to some crucial issues for example weak labour inspection, controversial issues on wages, pension and social security programmes were not resolved. The Omnibus bill was drafted in favour of investors, rather than addressing issues facing workers.

KPBI, KSBSI and KSPI are mobilizing workers for nationwide protests on 15 and 20 January

16 Jan 2020 Ferado

Accord transition agreement signed in Bangladesh

BANGLADESH:15 January, 2020 In a crucial step to continue to ensure Bangladeshi garment workers’ safety, the Accord Steering Committee has signed an agreement with the BGMEA on the transition to an RMG Sustainability Council, as well as the Memorandum and Articles of Association that establish the new body. The Transition Agreement between the Accord and the Bangladesh garment employers’ association (BGMEA) outlines key principles and steps in the transition from the Accord to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC). The RSC will bring together industry, brands and trade unions to ensure a sustainable solution to carry forward the significant accomplishments made on workplace safety in Bangladesh. The RSC will be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of an equal number of representatives from industry, brands and trade unions.
“The transition agreement, which provides the necessary guarantees that the work, key principles and all policies of the Accord will be carried forward in the RSC. Our affiliated unions in Bangladesh will play a strong role in the new RSC, participating directly with brands and BGMEA in the governance of the new body,” says IndustriALL assistant general secretary Jenny Holdcroft.
To strengthen the global brands’ active participation in the RSC and to ensure their supply chain responsibility for workplace safety is met, the Accord trade union and brand signatories will be negotiating a new legally binding agreement that supersedes the current 2018 Accord.“That agreement will enable us to continue to hold brands accountable for their factories and ensure the necessary support for the work of RSC,”concludes Jenny Holdcroft.A transition from the Accord to the RSC was agreed in May last year. Among other things, the Transition Agreement includes: The Safety and Health complaints mechanism established under the Accord will continue to operate independently and autonomously Transferring all operations, staff, infrastructure, and functions of the Accord Office in Dhaka to the RSC Factories currently covered by the Accord shall be carried over to the RSC retaining their remediation status and any outstanding remediation requirements as per the factory’s Corrective Action Plan
Documented decisions, policies and protocols developed by the Accord to be carried over to the RSC Maintaining all existing transparency features of the Accord, including full public disclosure of inspection results and remediation activities

14 Jan 2020 Ferado

New minimum wage determined in Turkey: Bosses pleased, workers’ union left table

The minimum wage to be applied as of 1 January 2020 was determined as 2324.70 Turkish liras (~390 USD). While one of the workers’ union left the meeting stating that they did not agree with the decision, AKP’s Minister stated that the workers were protected against inflation Family, Labor and Social Services Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk announced that they set the minimum wage for the year 2020 as 2324.7 Turkish Liras. Türk-İş left the meeting stating that he did not agree with the decision. The representative of the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türk-İş) left the meeting, stating that he did not agree with the decision. Minister Selçuk, after announcing the amount, said “We wish we had signed it unanimously.”

The minister also claimed that the government had kept its promise that it would not cause workers to suffer by exceeding the expected year-end inflation rate with the new minimum wage.

Türk-İş General Education Secretary Nazmi Irgat stated that they did not accept the decision and left the meeting by stating that the determined amount would not be enough for the workers even for 10 days.

On the other hand, the President of the Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations (TİSK), Özgür Burak Akkol, stated, after the meeting, that “I hope that the decision taken will be beneficial for employment, for the stability of businesses, for the purchasing power and for reducing unemployment. I thank the entire commission for their efforts.”While the level of the increase in the new minimum wage stirred controversy with 300 Turkish liras increase in a month, the increase in the MPs salaries has been 941 liras and Erdoğan’s salary will be raised by 7 thousand liras.

In 2019, the deputies will receive a monthly salary of 24 thousand 471 Turkish liras, while the minimum wage is 2 thousand 324 liras. President Erdoğan’s salary will rise to 81 thousand 250 liras in the new year.

14 Jan 2020 Ferado

Thai workers dismissed over union activities

ust a few days after the Mizuno Plastic Workers Union was founded in December last year, management cited a loss of profit and announced a redundancy plan. 32 of the 33 dismissed workers had been involved in forming the union.

Together with some colleagues, the dismissed workers have been picketing in front of the company since 9 December 2019.

“Mizuno Plastic is clearly violating Thai labour law. Union representatives cannot be dismissed without the consent of the labour court,”

says Prasit Prasopsuk, president of the Confederation of Industrial Labour of Thailand (CILT).

“We will assist union members in filing a complaint to the Labour Relations Committee.”

The workers met the Labour Relations Committee on 13 December.

“IndustriALL is strongly urging Mizuno Plastic to immediately reinstate the dismissed workers, stop union busting and respect the right to form a union, as guaranteed by the core labour conventions of the International Labour Organization,”

says Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary.

“We hope Mizuno will address the legitimate demands of the workers and enter into a constructive dialogue to achieve a fair and just resolution.”

14 Jan 2020 Ferado

Solidarity with millions of striking workers in India

INDIA: Hundreds of millions of Indian workers are joining today the 5th national strike against the Modi government’s proposed labour reforms. The strikers are demanding a ₹21,000 minimum wage, higher basic pension for all, tripartite discussion on labour reform, and a rollback on the privatization of profit-making public sector corporations.

Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary said, “Preserving, protecting, and expanding labour rights must be the basis for any plan to foster economic growth and promote shared prosperity. We stand in solidarity with the 250 million workers taking to the streets demanding dignity and fairness from the government. Inclusion and solidarity should be at the core of any labour reform plan, and the government should focus on increasing the quality of work, not weakening the freedom of association and other human rights.”

Rajendra Acharya, UNI Apro Regional Secretary said, “We are with our Indian brothers and sisters standing up for their rights and for democratic institutions today. Working poverty, informal employment, and weak labour protections are grave problems plaguing India and the entire region. These challenges will only intensify unless governments work together with unions and civil society. The government should listen to the hundreds of millions of workers striking today—not ignore their demands.”

The government’s proposed reforms would increase labour flexibility, insecurity, and vulnerability, increasing the number of precarious jobs and the erosion of time-tested health and safety safeguards. UNI represents workers in several Indian economic sectors including post, telecommunications, finance, and property services.