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Mei '06

Outsourcing still ’slavery’ to unions

Allowing the outsourcing of jobs would lead to a form of “modern slavery” and only create more insecurity among white-collar workers, the country’s labor unions say.

Speaking at an International Labor Organization-sponsored workshop here Tuesday, Syukur Sarto of the Confederation of All-Indonesian Labor Unions and Rekson Silaban of the Confederation of Prosperous Indonesian Labor Unions said the government and employers would not win any concessions from workers over the new employment legislation.

Although workers realized they and employers have “different perceptions on job outsourcing”, unions would continue to oppose its implementation in all businesses, Syukur said.

He said the current labor law already allowed for limited outsourcing to help businesses in uncertain economic times.

Rekson said job security had been low for workers since November’s steep increase of fuel prices. Allowing increased outsourcing of jobs would only make their futures more uncertain, he said.

“Outsourcing may be accepted only if its implementation is regulated rigidly, the minimum wage level is upgraded and social security programs are revised to protect dismissed and retiring workers,” he said.

Less restrictions on labor contracts and outsourcing are two contentious issues in the draft revision of the 2003 labor law.

The proposed changes to the law have triggered strong opposition from workers nationwide during the past two months, with unions staging huge protest rallies in Jakarta on May 1 and 3 to reject the draft.

Hassan Abdurrahman, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo), said outsourcing was vital if Indonesia wanted more efficient and competitive industries.

“The globalization of manufacturing has led to massive job redistribution around the globe and it’s unstoppable. Even the U.S. has created a law forbidding federal states from outsourcing certain jobs to other countries, but the legislation was found to be unworkable,” Hassan said.

The country had already benefited from outsourcing, winning many manufacturing contracts from multinational corporations in Britain and the United States, he said.

China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, have become international centers for production subcontracted by companies in high-wage countries.

Apindo chairman Sofyan Wanandi said the association and three labor union confederations would hold bipartite meetings this week to seek a win-win solution to the standoff, despite a temporary “ceasefire” announced by the government.

“The matter is mainly between employers and workers. The meeting scheduled for Friday aims to seek breakthroughs to the deadlock,” he said after the workshop’s opening ceremony.

Sumber :  (Ridwan Max Sijabat) The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

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