Triandra Widyasari (pictured at right) has worked for more than 11 years as a Food & Beverage Cashier in the Accounting Department of the luxury Jarkarta Gran Meliá. Yet, while on maternity leave local management decided to fire her. Sister Triandra is a member of the Jakarta Gran Meliá Union part of the IUF-affiliated Federation of Independent Hotel Unions (FSPM).
Since June 2006, the local union has been facing trouble from the management of the Spanish branded hotel. First management withheld welfare fund monies paid for with part of the collected service charge, which the CBA specifically state should be distributed to the union. Then in December, management dismissed a number of front office workers, all union members. The union contested these dismissals and filed for mediation.
When FSPM representatives came to the hotel to discuss mediation hearings they were ejected from the hotel. In May, management stopped distributing union dues collected via check-off. A total of 26 workers have now been dismissed - with management citing a law authorising dismissals following the closure of an enterprise. As the Gran Meliá is open and enjoys healthy occupancy levels, the dismissals are clearly outside the scope of the cited law.
Those targeted were active union members and the actions of management can only be seen as an attempt to weaken the union by stealth.