Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) conducted last August 13-14, 2015 a workshop entitled "Workers Organising in the Electronic Industry: Experiences from Indonesia and Malaysia" in Batam, Indonesia.
The workshop aimed at providing common understanding on the development of electronics industry in Indonesia and Malaysia, and its implication for the workers and society in general; (2) sharing the experiences on organising, campaign, and collective bargaining; (3) identifying potential collaboration between the workers/unions in Indonesia and Malaysia in workers’ organising, campaign, and education.
The participants of the workshop are leaders and organisers from Electronics Industry Employees Union (Malaysia), Federation of Metalworkers Union – FSPMI (Indonesia), and Metalworkers Union of Indonesian Trade Union Prosperity - Lomenik, SBSI (Indonesia). There were 10 women and 20 man leaders participated in the exchange.
The exchange identified similar problems and challenges that both workers in Malaysia and Indonesia face. In terms of wages, the minimum wages in Johor, Malaysia is slightly higher than Batam, Indonesia. It was explored that unions in Malaysia face much more difficult in organising the workers than in Indonesia, as the space for freedom to organise is still limited. Moreover, a segregation of ethnics (between locals and migrants) and the division among migrants’ groups have also worsened the challenges. As the follow up of the exchange, it was agreed by the participants to have joint organising works by the unions from the two countries.