|Issue No 90||30 March 2001|
Feed the Shangri-La Workers Fund
Unions and their supporters, from around the world, are being asked to donate money to help feed striking Shangri-La hotel workers in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The hotel workers who have been locked out of their workplace for more than three months have been subjected to violence from private security thugs and local police.
Several have been hospitalised because of these attacks and at least one woman has had a miscarriage because of a police beating.
" The Shangri-La reopened with a reduced staff of scabs on March 17, but the occupancy rate is less than 5 percent, with most of the guests invited by management," Ron Oswald, the general secretary of the Geneva-based hotel unions' international, the IUF, said.
Other Indonesian hotel workers from the Regent hotel and the Hyatt hotel are providing financial support and physical presence on the picket lines outside the Shangri-La hotel.
The Shangri-la workers themselves have established a couple of Solidarity Cafes where the locked out cooks and other staff are selling food to supporters, to raise funds and provide information about the union rights dispute to eager customers.
Menu at the Solidarity Café
The Solidarity cafe's main menu items include: Nasi Goreng Stop PHK (Stop Dismissal
Fried Rice) which costs 4,500 Indonesian rupees (less than one Australian dollar) per portion, or Kwetiauw Buruh (Workers' Noodles) at 6,500 rupees per dish.
You could also taste Siomay Perjuangan (Dim Sum of Struggle) for 3,500 rupees, or Solidarity Bihun (Solidarity Rice Noodles) for 4,500 rupees.
Ron Oswald of the IUF says the union continues to organize regular protests outside the hotel despite the strong police presence.
" The union is committed to keeping up the struggle and the workers are confident they can outlast management and return to work with their rights guaranteed in a collective agreement. But to continue the fight they need to eat!
" The IUF therefore appeals to all its members and supporters, as a matter of urgency, to contribute to the IUF Emergency Rice Fund for the Shangri-La Workers.
" We need to raise at least $US 9-10,000 monthly over the next 2-3 months to help sustain the strikers while their sisters and brothers in Indonesia and the IUF internationally work to promote a settlement of the dispute," Ron Oswald said.
US unions act
The American union movement has weighed into the Shangri-La Jakarta hotel dispute with the President of the AFL-CIO, John Sweeney, warning the Indonesian government of the dire consequences if the conflict continues - and the rights of union members are undermined.
The AFL-CIO's intervention follows similar acts by unions and peak national trade union bodies in Australia, Canada, China's HK SAR and Europe.
" The Shangri-La conflict has received considerable media attention in this country, and American workers are deeply concerned about the situation of their sisters and brothers at the hotel," John Sweeney, the AFL-CIO President, says in a letter to the Indonesian Ambassador to Washington - a copy of which was sent to the Indonesian Minister of Manpower.
The AFL-CIO is planning demonstrations in Washington next week in support of the Shangri-La hotel workers, and has already backed a solidarity fund set up this week by the hotel unions' international, the IUF.
Unions from Australia, Canada, China's HK SAR and Europe have already sent money to back the Rice Fund, as well as holding demonstrations and media conference to press their support for the Shangri-La workers.
In his letter to the Indonesian government the AFL-CIO's John Sweeney goes on to warn that his organisation and its affiliated unions representing 13 million American working women and men are deeply concerned about the conflict at the Shangri-La Jakarta Hotel and its implications.
" Should the conflict continue, it will naturally, have a negative impact on the hotel's brand ( which has a chain of hotels and resorts throughout the Asia-Pacific) and on the desirability of Indonesia as a tourist destination, as potential tourists elect not to visit a country whose commitment to the rule of law would appear to be in doubt."
Early on in this dispute the LHMU sent protest letters backing the Shangri-La workers to the Indonesian government.
LHMU Hotel workers have organised rallies in a number of Australian cities to show their support for hotel workers in Jakarta, and they have raised funds to help feed the Shangri-La workers and their families.
For earlier stories about this dispute visit
Interview: On the Up and Up
On the eve of new figures showing the slide in union membership may be bottoming out, ACTU secretary Greg Combet takes stock of the state of the movement.
Unions: Organising Theory
Labor Council’s Chris Christodoulou reports back from this week’s ACTU Organising Conference
Economics: The Failure of the Third Way
In his presentation to this week's ACTU Organising Conference, John Buchanan painted a dark picture of the emerging labour market.
History: Emblems of Unity
The Gregory J. Smith Collection of Trade Union badges was auctioned today in Sydney. Smith compiled a book on 763 of his remarkable collection which was published in 1992.
Legal: Della's Compo Plan
Labour lawyer Richard Brennan places the NSW workers compensation reforms under the microscope.
International: East Timor Goes Union
Workers in the fledgling nation have established their equivalent to the ACTU to build a safety net for workers.
Satire: Management for the Post-Industrial World
A new management fad is sweeping the post-industrial world, which has major social and political implications at the macro and micro level. We have called it "Purge Management Strategy" (PMS).
Review: Surviving The Temptations of TV Island
Cultural analyst Mark Morey rakes over the coals of American TV culture to find very little is there.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005