Yogyakarta workers begin campaign for bargaining rights and job security at Hyatt Hotels Indonesia

FSPM members protesting outside the Sleman Regency (district) Parliament, 21 February 2011, demanding Hyatt Hotel respect wage bargaining rights and calling for reglutions on job security.
Three years of Hyatt Indonesia management refusing to accept the basic labour right to negotiate wages has triggered a mass public protest in Yogyakarta, organised by the IUF-affiliated FSPM, Indonesia’s independent hotel workers’ federation.  The protest was covered in newspapers and television across country.

On February 21, 2011, around 100 workers, members of the FSPM Central Java, rallied at the District Parliament of Sleman, Yogyakarta.  Ali Praseto, chair of the FSPM Central Java Region, demanded that the government enforce the basic trade union rights to negotiate wages at Hyatt Yogyakarta. “We want to remind the government there are workers who are treated like slaves in this area,” he said.  Brother Praseto also demanded that the government and the District Parliament immediately issue regulations restricting the use of precarious employment.

Hired through labour contractors or agencies for just a few months, contract workers get poverty level wages, have no rights to union protection, no job security and no chance to develop skills.  Essentially, contract workers have no future. The real employer of precarious workers denies any responsibility for these disposable workers.

Ali Praseto, Chair of FSPM Central Java, with delegation to legislators of the Regency (district) Parliament.
The collective agreement at the Hyatt Yogyakarta Hotel expired at the end of 2008.  Since then, the management has persistently deadlocked negotiations over the 2009-2011 collective agreement by refusing to negotiate wages or discuss the exploitation of contract workers with the Hyatt Yogyakarta hotel union (a member of FSPM).

Responding to the rally, a local government official promised to immediately call the management and owner of Hyatt Regency Hotel Yogyakarta and urge immediate respect for the rights of trade unions to negotiate wages. A tripartite meeting composing of local government, management and the union was fixed.

In response to FSPM’s reports of many violations on employment standards and conditions in hotels and tourism sector in the Regency of Sleman, the Labor Department of Sleman promised to conduct an inspection immediately at Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta and other hotels in the area. In the province of Yogyakarta, Sleman District has many five star hotels, including Hyatt, Sheraton, Jayakarta, and others.

Following rally in front of the District Parliament of Sleman, FSPM sent a delegation to meet with legislators. The delegation reiterated the demand for regulations on job security and conditions of employment. Parliament members agreed to place labour issues as a priority for the Regional Legislation Program in 2012, and requested FSPM to engage actively in the formulation of these rules.

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