|Issue No 94||04 May 2001|
Jageth Backs Jakarta Hotel Workers
By Andrew Casey
An Australian hotel union organiser, Jagath Bandara, joined Indonesian hotel workers in their May Day celebrations and a protest rally outside the Shangri-La Jakarta hotel this week.
Jagath Bandara, from the NSW branch of the LHMU, read out messages of solidarity from the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the international hotel workers federation the IUF.
" I delivered the solidarity messages from the ACTU and Ron Oswald ( the gen-sec of the IUF) when we held a sit-in at the Jakarta Central Court to protest the treatment of the Shangri-La workers," Jagath Bandara said in an e-mail sent from Indonesia.
The IUF Executive Committee has just completed meetings in
Geneva and resolved to maintain the support of all hotel workers' unions for their comrades in Indonesia.
All 87 members of the international executive - representing unions from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean. Continental Western Europe, Eastern and Central Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Latin America, Nordic countries, North America, the Pacific, UK and Ireland - signed a joint letter to the Indonesian ambassador to the UN registering their protest.
The IUF has also written to the governments and representatives of the so-called G15 countries - representing developing nations - who are scheduled to meet in Jakarta in May.
They have called on the representatives of these countries to boycott the Shangri-La Jakarta hotel - one of the five-star hotels listed for use by government representatives during the international talk-fest.
Jagath Bandara handed over a donation, collected from hotel workers and other unionists in Sydney, of more than $2000 ( which is worth more than 13 million Indonesian rupiahs) to help the Shangri-La hotel workers who have been locked out from their workplace since the end of last year.
Jagath is doing a tour of other major Indonesian hotels, such as the Hyatt and Regent hotel, to build up solidarity, contact and support between hotel workers in Indonesia and Australia.
Hotel managements in the South-East Asia region are increasingly working together so the hotel unions in this region will also need to co-operate.
A few months ago the Regent Hotel in Jakarta sent a group of their employees to work at the Regent Hotel in Sydney.
The Australian hotel attempted to pay the Jakarta workers at
very poor Indonesian rates, until the LHMU stepped in and organised protests to ensure that the Jakarta workers were treated the same as their Sydney brothers and sisters.
For a history of the Shangri-La Indonesia dispute
Contact Arnotts and leave a message by click here to visit the LabourStart Shangri-La website
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