Workers' and Employers' Organizations in Indonesia and Timor-Leste

A bipartite meeting conducted at the enterprise level in Indonesia
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The ILO’s tripartite structure is unique within the United Nations system and gives workers’ and employers’ representatives an equal voice with governments in shaping ILO policies and programmes. Social dialogue between these three parties underpins the ILO’s work, and the ILO helps to develop the capacity of these organizations so they can effectively support and represent their members.

Workers’ organizations are independent and democratic trade unions that protect and support workers’ rights and interests at the national and regional level. As such, they play a key role in civil society. There are four major union confederations in Indonesia, they are: Confederation of All Indonesian Trade Union (K-SPSI-Rekonsiliasi), Confederation of All Indonesian Trade Union (K-SPSI-Kongres Jakarta), Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (CITU), and Confederation of Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union (K-SBSI). Meanwhile there is one union confederation in Timor-Leste, namely: Trade Union Confederation (KSTL).

Trade unions in both Indonesia and Timor-Leste face some major challenges, including promoting the right to organize and bargain collectively, lack of protection of migrant workers’ rights, forced, bonded and child labour, gender inequality, balancing the issue of labour flexibility and job security especially for the contract and outsource workers, lack of social security and persistent poverty.

Employers’ organizations represent the interests of business as these relate to labour and social policy at the national and international levels. They play a crucial role in shaping a supportive environment for competitive, sustainable enterprises, which are essential for economic and social development. Employers’ organizations play a critical role in any social dialogue process and help to ensure that national social and economic objectives are properly and effectively formulated, take into account of the needs of business and promote sound economic development.

The Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo) is the only officially recognized employer’s organization in Indonesia to deal with industrial relations and human resource development issues as mandated by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. Its vision is to create a better business environment for business community in order to develop harmonious industrial relations. Meanwhile The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Timor-Leste (CCI-TL) is also the only officially employer's organization in Timor-Leste.