The situation faced by a group of Indonesian workers from the Bandung region started more than two years ago, when their employer, a company that produces clothing items for famous European and North-American brands, applied more and more difficult working conditions and low wages, while the demand for garment articles was increasing.
With the help of the Indonesia YCW, the employees gathered in small groups where they analysed their situation and searched for ways to improve their conditions (decent salary, a stable contract and social security).
Following various negotiations with the company's Managing Board and although a few of the workers’ demands were fulfilled, the young workers decided to take a step forward and formed a Trade Union called Workers’ Solidarity Struggle (WSS). They began to contact the local authorities in order to ensure the implementation of the labour laws and regulations.
While the Union started to organize more actions together with the YCW members to grow awareness amongst the concerned parties, the manufacturing company began to make pressure by firing various workers. By March 2011 almost 500 workers had been laid off without severance pay or any legal reason.
After many days of protests in front of the factory, and facing the violent methods which the police were using to dissolve the mass protest, the WSS introduced an official complaint to the Bandung Court of Law, which ruled in favour of the workers on 7th Dec 2011.
After a trial that lasted for nearly 2 hours, the Industrial Court Judges declared the layoffs null and void, and that the workers who were dismissed should be hired back with their salaries paid from May 2011 to November 2011. In addition, the trial court fees shall be borne by the factory.
"We are warmly welcoming the decision of the Bandung District Court judges, it's a clear proof that this legal action was justified and it forces the company to ensure that the law is upheld for the benefit of the young workers”, said Andy Predicala, YCW coordinator for the Asia- Pacific region. “But the fight is not over! The mechanism of the employer is still strong and we are not sure about the turn of this incidence. That is why we remain vigilant following up this case.”
Although this decision was received with excitement by hundreds of protesting workers and labour activists, we need to continue our actions with and for the young workers so that everyone can have a decent life and work.