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Speech by Anas Haryanto, Indonesia

Brothers and Sisters,

My name is Anas Haryanto, I work in Alila Hotel Jakarta as a butcher in Kitchen Department. On the 3rd FSPM Congress, back in April 2005, I was elected as President of FSPM, a federation of Workers’ Union in Hotel, Restaurant, Plaza, Apartment, Food Retail, Catering and Tourism in Indonesia.

I believe that FSPM is a name that is very close to your heart. A federation which formed in September 2000 and went through a very difficult dispute only 2 months after it formed, which is Shangri-La Jakarta Case.

For 3 years after its establishment, this federation didn’t show any development due to Shangri-La case. And without support and solidarity that each of unions in this room has contributed, this federation could not possibly have survived.

When you showed solidarity action toward Shangri-La workers, you could never know that at the same time you were contributing to the development of an independent and democratic icon of union for all of Indonesian workers.

Through this best opportunity, I, on behalf of my members, general council, executive committee and women committee of FSPM would like to convey our gratitude for the solidarity actions, financial support and prayers for the Shangri-La workers. We thank you most of all for giving us, the hotel and restaurant workers in Indonesia, the opportunity to build a union for the future for our interests.

We would especially like to convey our thanks and respect to Bro. Ron Oswald, and to our teacher, friend and comrade in struggle, Bro. Ma Wei Pin. He has given all his time, his thoughts, his life to us, something which our federation will always remember.

From the beginning, IUF and 9 local unions in 2 cities had to decide what was the most appropriate strategy for Indonesia, after the country was freed the regime of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998. Suharto had been in power for 33 years.

It would have been easy just to affiliate the unions which were already there, which had been created when Suharto was in power. But IUF Asia Pacific took the view that such a strategy would not bring the change that was really needed by the workers of Indonesia, especially in IUF’s jurisdiction.

For that reason, IUF decided to take a longer and more difficult road – that is to assist Indonesian workers to organise and build a new federation. The first stage of the orgaising work was to decide: where to start, what issues should be put as organising tool, How big the scoup should be, and how, what way do we have to take.

Result from long discussion over strategic planning, we decided to start from Grand Hyatt Jakarta Hotel Union, because it’s located in the heart city of Jakarta and the local union has many influence to the rest of hotel sector in Jakarta.

To work focus in the islands of Java and Bali where the most population and tourism industry are located, and to take wage and service charge issues as a main organising tool and enlarged the capacity of Grand Hyatt Jakarta Local Union to be an alliance and front liner on the organising work and to be a promotor for the significance of having an independent and democratic tourism workers’ movement.

Every plan will never gone through as we expected. Every one of us has to be able to adapt for whatever possibly happen. In the case of organising hotel workers, our strategic plan was interupted by Shangri-La case. For what, at the end of the day has given us opportunity to show the work of internasionalism and bringing evidence and facts to ensure Indonesian workers of the importance of being part of International Federation such as IUF. In that stage, we could even put IUF as an organising tool to address participation of workers and increasing membership of FSPM.

Now, FSPM has growing in a very fast track. Surely, there are a lot of work in every development. There always be a new local union wants to joint FSPM every week or month. But then we have to work even harder to consolidate the federation, to increase the capacity of secretariat and to expand the level of leadership and every committee in FSPM.

If you doubt in how IUF’s way and work could deliver the result, then FSPM and its’ development can testify as prove. It is working, and still will be needed for the power of workers’ movement both in international and national level in our future.

Our federation could not have existed without IUF, without all the unions from Latin America to Africa, from North America to Australia. Without unions in Sweden, Belgium and Japan. Only by taking the IUF path, have we had success in our struggles. We ask for the opportunity in the next few years to become, in the future, a federation which is truly strong, independent and democratic as you all would expect.

Thank you very much.