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Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 09:45 AM CDT

General strike: Indonesian workers protest against outsourcing

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - At least two million workers in the streets, 23,000 of which in Jakarta alone; a national protest that threatens to turn into a real head-on clash with employers, who fear the flight of foreign investors and the collapse of business. This game between companies and workers Indonesia is being played out around outsourcing; yesterday these workers launched a country-wide strike to call for greater protection of their rights and better employment terms, including health care and higher wages. About 700 plants, belonging to 80 industrial complexes, have suffered heavy setbacks due to absences from work. The event, in addition to the capital, involved Bogor, Depok, Karawang, Semarang, Medan and many other smaller towns.

General strike: Indonesian workers protest against outsourcing

by Mathias Hariyadi

Trade unions and employers clash on the practice of external workers. A system used by companies to reduce costs and save on welfare. Two million people across the country went on strike, 23,000 in Jakarta alone. Leader of the manufacturers: risk of scaring off foreign investors. One worker: "We're not robots."

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - At least two million workers in the streets, 23,000 of which in Jakarta alone; a national protest that threatens to turn into a real head-on clash with employers, who fear the flight of foreign investors and the collapse of business. This game between companies and workers Indonesia is being played out around outsourcing; yesterday these workers launched a country-wide strike to call for greater protection of their rights and better employment terms, including health care and higher wages. About 700 plants, belonging to 80 industrial complexes, have suffered heavy setbacks due to absences from work. The event, in addition to the capital, involved Bogor, Depok, Karawang, Semarang, Medan and many other smaller towns.

Outsourcing, also known as contracting out or "offshoring", is the term used in the field of economics and business to define the practice adopted by companies of relying on third parties to carry out certain stages of production. It applies both to the subcontracting of works, as well as to the temporary employment of workers, as in the case of Indonesia, with fixed-term contracts on an annual basis.

In January, the Constitutional Court ruled that the practice of temporary hiring is unlawful, because it is "unconstitutional" and "contrary to the rights of workers." The workers are asking the government to prohibit the practice by law; for entrepreneurs, instead, it's a system that allows them to "save" because it avoids the allocation of extra contributions, health care and other benefits such as pensions.

Said Iqbal, president of the Indonesian Labor Assemply (MPBI), confirmed that the protests are for "the abolition of the system of outsourcing" and "higher wages and health care by 2014, instead of 2019 as originally established" by the government. He was echoed by a protester named Ralenti, who screamed in his anger: "We are not robots that they can treat as they please" and who asked that they be guaranteed "a fair wage" and a general system of welfare.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) instead called on the government to support the companies' position firmly, because outsourcing is critical to business success and economic growth. As was reiterated by Sofyan Wanadi, president of the Association of Entrepreneurs (Apindo), strikes and demonstrations "endanger the good atmosphere of industry" and could cause the flight of foreign investors, with consequent fiscal damages and "huge losses". The greatest risk, says the leader of the businessmen, is "the movement of industrial plants to other countries" such as Vietnam.

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/General-strike:-Indonesian-workers-protest-against-outsourcing-26000.html

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