Labour-Management Relations and Productivity Seminar (PROGRESS) in Indonesia

JILAF and the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (CITU) jointly held a seminar on labour-management relations and productivity (PROGRESS) in Merak on the island of Java, Indonesia, on June 27-30 with the participation of 28 union leaders.

The PROGRESS seminar aims to promote labour-management negotiations and establish constructive labour-management relations through the productivity improvement movement (the so-called 5S and kaizen practices). It is hoped that participants will become instructors themselves and disseminate the knowledge and experience acquired through the program in their own workplaces.

The four-day seminar consisted basically of lectures and practical sessions on (1) the role and challenges of trade unions, (2) labour standards and constructive labour-management relations, (3) the productivity movement and trade unions, and (4) labour-management consultations and collective bargaining. There was also a session in which past seminar participants reported on their 5S activities. One of them commented, “Previously the union was regarded by management as an offensive organization. However, we proposed implementing 5S activities so as to improve productivity in the plant. Workers not only on my line but on other lines as well took an active part in the activities, leading to productivity improvement in the plant as a whole. Management was surprised and grateful that the union, which was supposed to be an offensive organization, took the initiative in these activities.” The reports confirmed that the program is becoming established in workplaces and seminar participants are playing an active role as workplace instructors.

Finally, CITU Vice-President Aly Akbar remarked, “Rather than being confrontational, it is important for negotiations to emphasize dialogue. If employers do irrational things, we must be prepared to go on strike. But it is also essential for unions to fulfill a role by changing our ways of making a point so that employers accept our demands.”

As well as Indonesia, the PROGRESS seminar is scheduled to be held in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Mongolia in the current fiscal year (ending on March 31, 2013).

※PROGRESS = PROGram on Role of Trade Unions in Empowerment and Strategic Steps to Decent Work
※The 5S principles refer to the first letters of five Japanese words: seiri (Sort), seiton (Set things in order), seiso (Shine), seiketsu (Standardize), and shitsuke (Sustain).


06/27WedPROGRESS seminar (Day 1)
06/28ThuPROGRESS seminar (Day 2)
06/29FriPROGRESS seminar (Day 3)
06/30SatPROGRESS seminar (Day 4)

Photos of the Participants

5S patrol at a petrochemical plant

A good example of seiton (“three-fixture management”: fixed positions, fixed items, fixed quantities)

Conclusive discussions by the 5S patrol