The workshop was conducted as an immediate follow-up to the previous training held in Bogor, West Java, in August last year, aimed to improve labour rights of fishers in the country. This year’s workshop had chosen Manado City, North Sulawesi as the province has shown some progresses in joint fishing inspection and labour compliance at its main fishing port of Bitung. The event was conducted by the ILO, the Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries Affairs with the participation of the Ministry of Transportation and the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime.
I realize that we could not impose the implementation of the overall labour law. Yet, we need to ensure that the sector at least implement the minimum standards of employment."Budi Hartawan, Secretary to the Director General of Labour Inspection and OSH of the Ministry of Manpower
Meanwhile in Bali, the Manpower Office in collaboration with relevant stakeholders has been able to increase the minimum wages of local fishers at Tanjung Benoa Port. The fishers’ wages have been increased from Rp 800.000 to Rp 2.5 million in accordance with the government regulation on minimum wage for fishers. Other shared best practices included the issuance of working agreement at sea in Belawan Port of North Sumatra for fishers and ships.
Besides the implemented best practices, some ongoing challenges for improvements were also shared such as lack of coordination among relevant stakeholders, overlapping regulations among relevant regulators and lack of awareness on fishers’ labour rights. Other challenges included remote locations of some ports and fishing communities. In Maluku, for example, the joint inspection has not yet effectively implemented due to lack of agreements among relevant stakeholders.
Rene Roberts, ILO Senior Labour Inspection Specialist, shared some best practices from other countries in securing decent work for fishers and ensuring labour compliances in fishing industry. One of the best practices shared was from Thailand, a neighbouring country of Indonesia. To understand the root causes and real fishing conditions, Thailand conducted a baseline survey. The survey discovered that some fishers never set a foot on land for years and there had been delayed payment or event non-payment.
“Thailand has now imposed the requirements that all ships at its 32 ports should go to port every 30 days for inspection. All fishers are required to have not only fishing book and a written contract, but also to set up an electronic bank account,” explained Rene, adding that the country has also involved the marine to conduct monitoring at sea.
A field visit for on-board vessel inspectionTo examine the progresses made and the real conditions of the fishers, similar to the previous workshop, a field visit to Bitung port was conducted. Established in 2010, Bitung port is the main fishing port in North Sulawesi, providing services to Indonesian fishing vessels operated in Sulawesi and Maluku seas as well as the Pacific Ocean. Bitung port accommodates around 899 fishing vessels, with the small vessels make up the majority of the fleet with Tuna species as the main catch landed.
Labour inspectors play a more key role to protect the world of work in the changing environment and the ILO continue to support Indonesia improving its fishing sector conditions."Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia
Budi Hartawan, Secretary to the Director General of Labour Inspection and OSH of the Ministry of Manpower, reminded the labour inspectors about the important role of the labour inspectors in ensuring the implementation of labour law in the fishing sector.
“I realize that we could not impose the implementation of the overall labour law. Yet, we need to ensure that the sector at least implement the minimum standards of employment,” he said, adding that the results of the workshop would be disseminated to other labour inspectors.
The workshop concluded with the development of activity and work plans for each province. The developed plans included improving coordination for joint visit and inspection, establishing a task force in the fishing sector, awareness raising to the other stakeholders including workers and employers, a baseline survey on fishing conditions, and so forth.
Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia, encouraged the participating labour inspectors to make the best use of technology, information and data as means to improve the effectiveness of labour inspection. “Labour inspectors play a more key role to protect the world of work in the changing environment and the ILO continue to support Indonesia improving its fishing sector conditions,” she stated.
The workshop was also in line with the celebration of the ILO Centenary. For 100 years, the ILO has advanced social justice and promoted decent work in all aspects of the world of work, including the fishing sector. The ILO Centenary also marks Indonesia’s 69 years journey with the ILO since becoming one of the ILO’s member States in 1950.