Fri, 22 Feb 2008
From: The Jakarta Post
By Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
An alliance of entrepreneurs and workers groups has established a bipartite forum to help settle industrial labor disputes and problems.

The establishment of the forum would effectively end an existing similar forum, called the tripartite forum, which incorporates the government, the alliances said Thursday.

Secretary-general of the Indonesia Welfare Labor Confederation (KSBSI), Idin Rosidin, said the government, the House of Representatives and other institutions should not be involved in the settlement of labor disputes, especially between employers and workers.

"The bipartite forum is determined to settle the problems internally without any interference, so that the problems can be solved immediately, simply and fairly," he said.

Chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo), Sofyan Wanandi, said the role of the House or the government might be needed only as a stamp of approval for any agreements reached within the forum.

"But not during the negotiations in the forum," Sofyan added.

"If we directly involve the government or other institutions in the negotiations, a solution takes a long time. Sometimes the government even politicizes industrial problems, such as the worker social insurance, even more so if it is election time."

The forum was established as a place to discuss solutions to business-related disputes and confusions, including severance pay, outsourcing and overlapping laws on the manpower and industrial sectors.

It also is designed to help prevent strikes and the closure of companies.

In the forum, workers are represented by the KSBSI, which heads 11 worker federations, and the Indonesia Workers Confederation (KSPI), which heads 10 worker federations.

The entrepreneurs are represented by Apindo.

According to the KSPI, there around 80 workers unions registered at the Manpower Ministry, but more than 50 percent of them do not have legitimate supporters.

The forum secretariat will consist of 15 people from each of the three institutions, including five people grouped as a working committee. It will begin work in March, with an office in Menara Jamsostek in South Jakarta.

"There are still many worker alliances out there which have not yet joined the forum, but we decided to start it off with those which are ready," said KSBSI president Rekson Silaban.

He said if the results of the forum was positive, there would be no reason for other unions not to join the forum later.

Chairman of the KSPI, Thamrin Mosii, said the first item to be discussed at the forum was the 1992 law on social insurance for workers.

He said other laws that needed further discussion were the 2000 law on unions, the 2003 law on manpower, the 2004 law on industrial courts and other regulations considered to be overlapping.



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