CITU/JILAF Industrial Relations and Labour Policy Seminar in Indonesia

Scene of the seminar

JILAF, together with the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (CITU, or KSPI in Indonesian), held industrial relations and labour policy seminars in the cities of Bekasi on October 27–28 and Batam on October 30–31. The two seminars were attended by a total of 86 people, including 19 women (22%) and 50 participants from Japanese companies (58%).

At the seminar in Bekasi, on the first day, opening addresses were delivered on behalf of the organizers by Mr. Ali, who is the head of education and training at the CITU, and JILAF Secretary General Masayuki Shiota.

JILAF Secretary General Shiota spoke about the longstanding cooperative relations between JILAF and CITU and the purpose of the seminar. Amid the increasingly severe environment surrounding workers, he stressed that social dialogue is becoming more and more important.

First Secretary Shinichiro Honda of the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia praised the JILAF projects and CITU activities and urged the participants to deepen their understanding of Japanese-style industrial relations and utilize what they learn at the seminar in their workplaces.

JILAF Secretary General Shiota then gave a lecture on the Japanese labour movement and issues and replied to the many questions from the participants on such topics as the activities of women, nonregular workers, mandatory retirement, and social security.

After the lecture, the seminar switched to a participatory-type program. At first, a representative from the Association of Indonesian Trade Unions (ASPEK) said that ASPEK would make continued efforts to cooperate with the government and build harmonious industrial relations. A representative from the Indonesian Employers’ Association (APINDO) then emphasized the importance of discussions, and in particular “listening,” and commented on the need for trade union leaders to acquire the ability to understand business data.

JILAF Secretary General Shiota added that as workstyles change in the future due to the acceleration of globalization and information technology, sincere and serious discussions by both labour and management will be necessary and that social dialogue will play a central role.

On the second day, CITU Vice-President Wawan Erfianto spoke about reasonable wages, the present state of medical and social security, and the effective utilization of social dialogue, respectively, after which lively discussions took place on these issues.

In group discussions, the groups discussed (1) the minimum wage, (2) social dialogue, and (3) medical and social security and then presented proposals gained therefrom to all the participants.

Mixing in the keywords of the seminar, each of the groups proposed measures based on solutions through dialogue, including policy and system demands, the lobbying of national legislators, and strengthening of the CITU’s activities (strengthening of the supervisory capabilities of its departments). These presentations were a step in the direction of building constructive industrial relations based on dialogue.

At the seminar in Batam, on the first day, opening addresses were delivered on behalf of the organizers by the CITU’s representative for the Kepri district and JILAF Secretary General Shiota. The CITU Kepri district representative expressed gratitude to JILAF and said that Japanese industrial relations, which placed importance on workers, were very impressive, adding that it was only Japanese companies that shared the concept of 5S. (The 5S principles refer to the first letters of five Japanese words: seiri [sorting], seiton [systematic arrangement], seiso [spic and span], seiketsu [standardization], and shitsuke [self-discipline].)

In lectures and sessions on current awareness and issues, as in Bekasi, time was set aside for discussions, including questions and answers, on the present state of industrial relations and issues.
In an outline report, a representative from the labour bureau of Batam commented that the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, Indonesia’s labour ministry, can only mediate in industrial disputes and that two-way consultations between the parties concerned were important. The representative also stated that cooperation between the government and labour was essential for the inspection of working conditions and that the situation in Japan would be a useful reference in this respect.

CITU Secretary General Muhammad Rusdi gave a talk on the social role of trade unions and expressed the CITU’s determination to adopt strategies and continue activities toward the realization of fair distribution.

Next, JILAF Secretary General Shiota spoke about the history of the Japanese labour movement and the necessity of social dialogue.

A panel discussion was then held with the participation of a representative in charge of industrial relations at APINDO, who commented that harmonious industrial relations were desirable and that labour should give thought to not only wages but also skills and productivity. CITU Secretary General Rusdi responded by saying that labour and management should proceed with improvements so as to ensure wages enabling a satisfactory life.

JILAF Secretary General Shiota added that not only workplace unions and employers but also upper organizations of labour and management like the CITU and APINDO should work together on the basis of their roles and responsibilities.

After that, group discussions were held on the topics of (1) the minimum wage, (2) social dialogue, and (3) social security, with each group then presenting proposals gained therefrom to all the participants. Each group began by confirming the present situation and emphasized the importance of trade unions themselves conducting activities with a sense of ownership.

In the closing ceremony, JILAF Secretary General Shiota wrapped up the seminar by advising those working for Japanese companies to collaborate with trade unions in Japan and by encouraging the participants to continue their efforts to obtain company information and organize employees, adding that he looked forward to hearing the results at next year’s seminar and thereafter.


10/27FriSeminar day one (Bekasi)
10/28SatSeminar day two (Bekasi)
10/29SunSeminar day one (Batam)
10/30MonSeminar day two (Batam)

Photos of the Participants

The JILAF session on “The Japanese Labour Movement and Issues”

Presentation by participants

Group discussions