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On 25 February 2019, 15 workers of the factory agreed to form a plant level union and named the union Pengurus Komisariat Federasi Serikat Buruh Garteks KSBSI (PK FSB Garteks KSBSI). The workers then submitted an application to register the new plant level union to the Manpower Office in Serang.
The 15 workers are former members of PSP SPN Kawasan Industri (National Industrial Workers Union Federation/Serikat Pekerja Nasional (SPN)). They withdrew from SPN membership on 23rd February 2019 and handed over the resignation letter to official of PSP SPN Kawasan Industri. On the next days, 26th February 2019 another 46 workers withdrew their membership from SPN and their resignation letter including the resignation letter of the first 15 workers were sent to SPN via POS Indonesia.
On 27 February 2019, the copy of resignation letters of the total of 61 workers were sent to the management of the factory. In the afternoon, a manager called two workers who resigned from SPN to his office room. When the workers met him in his room, there were also two union officials of SPN. The workers were asked to rethink their resignation from SPN. Felt intimidated, the two workers wrote down their names and employee registration number.
On the next day, 28 February 2019, the same manager called another two workers to his office again. These workers were asked to rethink their resignation from SPN membership. On the same day, a second manager called the chairman of the new union and asked her about her resignation from SPN. The manager told her that she had made a mistake by resigning from SPN.
On the next day, one of the officials of Garteks met with the HR Manager and complained on the action of the managers calling workers who resigned from SPN with the presence of SPN officials asking about their resignation. She defined the calling as an intimidation to the workers who resigned.
On 5 March 2019, the two officials of the new union reported the calling to the PUMA CSR Officer, who monitors the social and working standards for PUMA.
On 1 April 2019, the new union PK FSB Garteks KSBSI received the letter of union's registration from the Manpower Office in Serang. The registration is dated on 25th March 2019. The registration letter is a recognition to the new union from the Government.
On the next day 2 April 2019, the union sent a letter to the management requesting a meeting to introduce the new union and all its officials. The letter was received by the second manager who said the meeting would be at the Sustainable Development office room and limited the participants from the union to only the Chairman, the Secretary and one union official.
The meeting took place on the 4th April 2019. From the union, the Chairman, the Secretary, and another officer were present. From the management, there were two Sustainable Development team members, and two Management's FOA Protocol team members. At the meeting, the management refused any documentation of the meeting including meeting notes and photograph. They said the documentation was not necessary. In the meeting, the management staffs questioned the use of word "federasi" (federation) in the name of the new union. They argued that "federasi" should not be at the plant level. The union officials argued that the full name of the union is Pengurus Komisariat Federasi Serikat Buruh Garmen Kerajinan Tekstil Kulit dan Sentra Industri KSBSI (Commissariat Level of Union Federation of Garteks KSBSI). Commissariat is a plant level structure of union federation of Garteks. That PK FSB Garteks KSBSI is a plant level union and not a federation level.
Since the new union has been recognised by the Government with the Union Registration Letter and the meeting with the management has been taken place, the PK FSB Garteks KSBSI sent a letter on 11 April 2019 to the management requesting the company to facilitate the union's activities. The letter was received by the second manager and he said that he has no authority on the matter but the Sustainable Department has the authority. Since management did not respond to the letter, the union sent another letter on 13 May 2019. Until now, the union has not received any response on this letter.
On 23 April 2019, more workers withdrew their union membership from SPN and on 21 May 2019 the union sent a letter to the management requesting a deduction from 63 workers' salary who are member of PK FSB Garteks KSBSI to be paid as union dues. The second manager refused this request.
On 26 April 2019, the officials of the new union received an invitation from its national level to participate in a training on 2-3 May 2019. On the 28 April 2019, the officials requested a dispensation to participate in the training but the request was rejected. On the 30th April, the union officials went to the first managers' office to ask for an explanation about the rejection of the request. But the manager was not in the office and the union officials left the dispensation request letter to another staff member.
Therefore, the new union PK FSB Garteks KSBSI demands that the factory respects its right to freedom of association as it is protected under national law No. 21/2000 on Trade Unions and the Freedom of Association Protocol. The union demands its rights to exercise freedom of association.
On 22 May 2019, FWF’s complaints handler in Indonesia received a complaint from trade union Garteks Garteks is a new-established union in the company. They claimed that the company has not respected freedom of association. FWF declared this complaint admissible and informed Haglofs, the FWF member sourcing at this factory. Haglofs reached out to factory management, who disagree on the Garteks registration name of Federasi (Federation level) instead of a factory level trade union. Factory management revealed that they will accept the workers resignation after confirmation of SPN. SPN is the “old” trade union that has been active for more than 10 years in the factory. The FWF Complaints handler reached out to Garteks and SPN to confirm their stories. Unfortunately, no response from SPN was received. SPN had dropped the case to the court against Garteks. Based on the documentation that was sent, FWF can conclude that the registration by the government confirms the establishment of a factory level union PK FSB Garteks meaning a plant level trade union. Therefore, there are no procedural obstacles for Garteks to be established in the factory. The factory does not have to wait for the confirmation of SPN for the resignation of the workers. Haglofs needs to ensure that factory management refrains from any interference in Garteks’ efforts to establish a trade union. Management should cease all efforts that would directly or indirectly favour or promote a specific trade union. On 2 of July 2019, Garteks was invited by factory management for a meeting. Garteks is now recognised as a union at the factory. The company is giving them facilities they asked as a union and will follow up on the salary deduction for the union membership dues. FWF recommends the brand to monitor the process of implementation, including guaranteeing the rights that are described in the Freedom of Association Protocol. Court decision was announced on 22 October 2019. Decision number 29/G/2019/PTUN-SRG said that the allegation from SPN cannot be accepted. SPN is going for an appeal. FWF’s complaints handler contacted the complainant how confirmed that she has received the room.
The FWF member reached out to the factory and asked for a response. Management does not dispute any of the facts and sent the meeting notes.
Management does disagree on a procedural aspect, outlining that the trade union would be a Federasi (Federation level) instead of a factory level trade union.
Furthermore, factory management outlined that it will accept the workers resignation of the trade union SPN after confirmation of SPN. SPN started a case before the court to prevent Garteks becoming established in the factory. Factory management informed the brand that it prefers to wait for the outcome of the court case.
The FWF Complaints handler reached out to Garteks and SPN to confirm their stories. Unfortunately, no response from SPN was received. Garteks did inform FWF that SPN had dropped the case against Garteks to be established.
Based on the documentation that was sent, including the registration by the government FWF can conclude:
- That the registration by the government confirms the establishment of a factory level union: Pengurus Komisariat Federasi Serikat Buruh Garmen Kerajinan Tekstil Kulit dan Sentra Industri, Pengurus Komisariat meaning a plant level trade union. Therefore, there are no procedural obstacles for Garteks to be established in the factory.
- Based on the Trade Union Act, Article 14:
(1) A worker/ laborer is not allowed to have membership in more than one trade union/ labor union at one enterprise.
(2) In case a worker/ laborer at an enterprise turns out to have been registered as a member in more than one trade union/ labor union, he or she must make a written declaration stating the trade union/labor union in which he chooses to retain his membership.
And Article 17, verse (1): A worker/ laborer may quit his union membership by submitting a written notification to this effect.
From the complaint document sent by Garteks, It is documented that the workers have submitted their resignation letter to the previous union and sent the copy of resignation letters to the management.
Based on the law, the factory does not have to wait for the confirmation of SPN for the resignation of the workers. In this case, the factory should acknowledge the transfer of workers to Garteks and commence the transfer of dues from the moment the worker indicated its membership to Garteks.
The brand needs to ensure that
1. Management refrains from any interference in Garteks’ efforts to establish a trade union. Management should cease all efforts that would directly or indirectly favour or promote a specific trade union.
2. The factory should recognize Garteks as a listed union and accept when the workers want to end membership of SPN. No approval or confirmation of SPN is required for this.
3. The factory should ensure that the membership fees of the workers that joined Garteks will be paid to Garteks starting from the moment the worker indicated to factory that the worker would like to join Garteks.
4. The factory should guarantee Garteks all their rights as listed in the FoA Protocol, including a room for the union secretariat, time to convene and participation in meetings with management.
5. Furthermore, FWF recommends the brand to support the factory in social dialogue, by assessing and discussing its needs. FWF specifically recommends the brand and factory to participate in the FWF WEP Communication that trains management, trade unions and workers in effective dialogue. Also, the brand could hire a local consultant to offer mediation between the parties and support in improving management systems to facilitate social dialogue with three trade unions.
6. FWF also recommends that in case of disputes with or between trade unions, to refer the case to the National Committee of the FoA Protocol.
On the 2nd of July, Garteks was invited by factory management for a meeting.
Garteks is now recognized as a union at the factory. The company is giving them facilities they asked as a union:
1. The company will provide PK Garteks a room for their union office. Included in the room are a table and a chair.
2. The company will follow up on the salary deduction for the union membership dues. The union will send all documents required for this process on the 3rd of July.
3. The company will facilitate two union officials to be free from their job to do union's daily activities.
4. The union will send all the union's administrative documents i.e. the union's constitution and its organization structure.
5. The company will give a standard operation procedure to the union on the membership recruitment process.
FWF recommends the brand to monitor the process of implementation, including guaranteeing the rights that are described in the FoA Protocol.
This currently leaves one issue open: two trade unionist had received a third warning letter. The factory claimed in the first case that the worker had kept upper production material that had been scanned while her first-warning letter is still effective. As to the second worker, the warning letter states that she did not do her job to supervise the cutting process that caused delay in production. The union considers these actions as retaliation from management.
Now that the union has been established, the FWF complaints handler has recommend to the trade union to address this internally first. However, the FWF member should seek a response from factory management about the warning letters to the two trade unionists.
The complaint is closed, as the issue regarding recognition of the Garteks union is solved.
Court decision was announced on 22 October 2019. Decision number 29/G/2019/PTUN-SRG said that the allegation from SPN cannot be accepted. SPN was going for an appeal. if that would change the situation, follow up can be given on the issue with FWF.