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Apr '06

VP pleads with workers not to go on strike in May

Vice President Jusuf Kalla called on workers Thursday to cancel a plan to hold a national May Day strike. Kalla said workers’ concerns about the planned revision of the Labor Law were being heard.

A tripartite dialog between employers, workers and the government has been planned to seek a solution to the labor dispute. After a wave of rowdy demonstrations, workers are now taking a wait-and-see stance.

“The government doesn’t want to see any more labor protests because an agreement has been reached between unionists and employers to discuss the law revision in a tripartite dialog,” Kalla said after opening a meeting of the Association of Indonesian Alm Managing Institutions.

In addition, he said, the government has asked five state universities to study the current law and give their comments to the forum.

Major labor organizations have planned a strike on International May Day to attract the world’s attention to labor conditions in Indonesia.

The Indonesian Trade Unions Congress (ITUC) said workers would suspend the strike if the government was committed to meeting workers’ demands.

ITUC vice president Khoirul Anam said, “The five universities have to start working immediately to recommend whether it is necessary to revise the Labor Law. If it is necessary, they also have to prepare an academic draft to be discussed in the tripartite dialog.

“Third, the government should reform the social security programs with an additional plan providing compensation for dismissed workers.”

Deputy Chairman of the Confederation of All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) Syukur Sarto said his organization had suspended demonstrations to see if the government would work to improve labor conditions.

“Unless the universities soon start reviewing the Labor Law, the investment climate and social security reform, workers will go on national strike on May 1,” he said.

Rekson Silaban, chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Prosperity Labor Union (KSBSI), said May Day would be a golden opportunity for a national strike.

“So far, there has been no agreement among unionists to suspend the planned national strike,” he said.

In a related development, during a visit to his hometown Pacitan, Central Java, on Friday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appealed to businesspeople to treat workers as partners, not as mere production tools.

“Only then will the two parties be able to create better communication that will benefit both companies and workers,” he said while officiating Partners in Cigarette Production, a partnership scheme initiated by cigarette maker Sampoerna.

Sumber : (Ridwan Sijabat) The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Pacitan (cached)

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