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Mei '06

Labor unions, business groups agree to end ongoing dispute

Representatives from the business sector and labor unions agreed Friday to jointly find the best ways to improve the business climate by holding an official national bipartite meeting in June.

Relations between the two parties had been tense since violence broke at out recent labor union rallies rejecting planned revisions to the 2003 Labor Law.

The labor unrest has caused a number of foreign buyers to postpone orders. The Indonesian Employer Association (Apindo) claims industries lost Rp 850 billion due to the first rally on May 1.

After an informal meeting between the business associations and labor unions, the head of the Indonesian Prosperous Workers Confederation, Rekson Silaban, said both parties agreed that concerted efforts were needed to bring about an economic recovery.

“The upcoming bipartite meeting aims to find out the main problems that unions and businesses face,” he said.

As for labor unions’ stance on the 2003 law, Rekson said, they reject any kind of revision.

He said a team consisting of representatives from labor unions and business associations had been set up to arrange the meeting and determine the agenda.

Chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) Sofyan Wanandi said the recent labor rally had hit the business climate hard.

He said the discussions would cover ways to improve the overall business climate in Indonesia, including the protracted dispute over the planned revision of the Labor Law.

Sofyan noted various business sectors such as electronics and textile industries had experienced a 30 to 40 percent drop in the first four months of this year.

The Indonesian Footwear Association, as previously reported, said that after the violent second rally on May 3, European buyers postponed repeat orders until the labor unrest subsided.

Sumber : (08) The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

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