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Indonesia: Fast food chain fires pregnant workers 'for safety'

1 April 2015 News
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The restaurant chain PT Champ Resto Indonesia fires pregnant workers based a company policy that treats them as a health and safety risk. Under this policy workers are denied their legal right to three months paid maternity leave and must resign. 

When Hilda, a worker at one of Champ Resto's outlets, sought information on maternity leave in January management replied a month later citing company policy and telling her to resign. The union intervened and management gave the same response claiming that only office workers are entitled to paid maternity leave and not restaurant or fast food outlet workers. Restaurant workers are also denied any medical insurance.

In her eighth month of pregnancy Hilda submitted a request to take leave from March 6 since the law entitles her to 45 days paid maternity leave before the expected date of birth. Management ignored her request and that of the union, treating her absence as voluntary resignation.

On March 9 the IUF-affiliated Federation of Hotel, Restaurant, Plaza, Apartment, Catering and Tourism Workers' Free Union (FSPM), of which the Champ Resto Independent Workers' Union is a member, held a protest action at the head office of Champ Resto in Jakarta. The protest action was part of the International Women's Day activities on March 8 coordinated by the IUF Asia/Pacific.

The IUF is supporting FSPM in its campaign to abolish company rules that discriminate against pregnant workers and to secure paid maternity leave for Hilda so that she can return to work on June 7, 2015.

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