Towards concerted efforts for business sustainability and protection of workers of garment and footwear industries

18 Aug 2020

The ILO facilitates dialogue among government, workers’ and employers’ organizations on strengthening the coordination and efforts to promote sustainability of business and protection of workers in garment and footwear industries.

To ensure the sustainability of business, particularly garment and footwear industries, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic  for the welfare of both workers and employers, the ILO facilitated a tripartite social dialogue on 6 August. The dialogue was conducted as part of an effort to strengthen joint forces among key labour actors in garment and footwear industries to find ways and solutions for all parties involved.

The dialogue presented M. Rudy Salahuddin, Deputy for Digital Economy, Employment and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs. He responded to various concerns and questions raised by representatives of workers and employers regarding the government’s initiatives to support the continuity and sustainability of garment and footwear industries for the benefits of both workers and employers as well as the country’s economic recovery.

Responding to a concern regarding the protection of workers, Rudy explained that the government has issued regulations on how to deal with the new normal protocols. “The government has issued a standardized health protocol for businesses, factories and other workplaces. For sectoral guidelines, we have issued guidelines for tourism, industry and trade sectors,” he explained.

Related to the massive lay-offs, social aid for workers and access to skills training, raised by Roy Jinto, Chair of the Federation of Textile, Clothing and Leather Unions of the Confederation of All Indonesian Workers Union (FSP-TSK KSPSI) and Ary Joko Sulistoyo, Head of the Federation of Garment, Handicraft, Textile and Industrial Centers of the Indonesian Labour Union Confederation (FSB-Garteks KSBSI), he explained about the government plan to provide a social assistance to workers and to provide an opportunity for laid-off workers to upgrade their skills through training programmes under the pre-employment card.

“To ensure that all workers benefit and enjoy the social assistances and training programmes, the government is open to suggestions from employers and workers. We need to work hand-in-hand and through a joint commitment between employers and workers we build stronger coordination,” stated Rudy,

As a response from a query from Benny Soetrisno, Head of Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo) for Trade, and Eddy Widjanarko, Chair of the Indonesian Footwear Association (Aprisindo) regarding economic stimulus for businesses, Rudy explained about various stimulus that have been developed to ease the burden of businesses during and after the pandemic such as tax relaxation, electricity for business and etc.

“The government is going to reformulate business stimulus and incentives to ensure their benefits to businesses’ sustainability and continuity. The government also tries to boost people’s consumption to avoid recession and pursue positive economy,” he explained.

The dialogue was concluded with an agreement to continue and strengthen concerted efforts among government, workers’ and employers’ organizations to ensure the continuity of businesses, save jobs and protect workers during and after the pandemic.

The dialogue led to the signing of the joint commitment between employers and workers related to export-oriented garment and footwear industries of Indonesia. The joint commitment highlights the protection of businesses and workers, labour law compliance and social dialogue as means to find solutions to the challenges affecting the sector today.

The dialogue was facilitated by the ILO through its Better Work Indonesia programme . The Better Work programme is a joint programme between ILO and the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), aimed to improve working conditions and boost competitiveness of Indonesian garment and footwear industries.

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