The IUF has added the Grand Aquila Hotel in Bandung, Indonesia to its’ Global Hotel Monitor List, which provides advice for travellers and the tourism industry on union disputes in hotels around the world.
Since October 2008 137 workers (including the union’s office bearers) have been protesting their dismissal for exercising their right to freedom of association.
When the workers told management that they had formed a union at the hotel, the General Manager called first the union’s nine office bearers to his office in groups and dismissed them on the spot. He offered no explanation but simply demanded they leave. Without even a dismissal letter, the General Manager had Security personnel marched the union leaders out of the hotel. 128 members of the union were also subsequently dismissed. The workers have received no wages or medical insurance since this time. One of the union members who was unable to afford proper medical treatment tragically passed away in June this year.
Despite a recommendation from the local Manpower office to reinstate the workers, management refuses to give their jobs back , blatantly flouting Indonesian Labour law and freedom of association .
The workers set up a permanent protest outside the hotel , from which they were forcibly removed by city representatives last week. There is also a solidarity cafe next to the hotel, which the workers are running to help support their struggle.
FSPM is determined not to allow such a flagrant flouting of the law to go unchallenged. The commitment to uphold freedom of association is an important part of any society’s commitment to democracy. If government does not protect and uphold the rights of those who exercise their freedom of association then democracy itself is undermined.