A new private sector working group to promote decent work and sustainable growth in Indonesia’s fishing industry
Supported by the ILO’s 8.7 Accelerator Lab Multi Partner Fund, employers’ organisations and their members’ fishing companies, form a working group to address existing labour challenges and promote decent work.
The workshop established “the Employer’s Lab” working group to find solutions to the sector’s decent work challenges and to encourage the replication of promising practices. It also provided a venue for knowledge-sharing on the role of the private sector to promote relevant International Labour Standards as well as accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 8.7.
We need to jointly improve the working and living conditions in all the sub-sectors of the fishing industry and ensure legal clarity on all work aspects. Promoting decent work is key to support the progress of Indonesia’s fishing industry."Hendra Sugandhi, Chair of Livestock and Fisheries of Apindo
“We need to jointly improve the working and living conditions in all the sub-sectors of the fishing industry and ensure legal clarity on all work aspects. Promoting decent work is key to support the progress of Indonesia’s fishing industry,” remarked Hendra when opening the event.
Meanwhile Dong Eung Lee, ILO’s Specialist for Employers’ Activities, emphasized the important role played by the employers to address existing legal and implementation gaps in Indonesia’s fishing industry. “At the global level, employers are committed to eliminate forced labour and child labour, which are at the centre of SDG Target 8.7. At the country level, it is important for employers’ organizations like Apindo to advocate and encourage its company members to implement and promote decent work practices in the fishing sector, including respect for fundamental rights at work” he said.
In the interactive discussion, the participating companies actively shared their experiences. On recruitment for example, most companies said that they heavily depend on the fishing vessels’ captains to identify the skills needed and the right profiles of fishers. “We need to guarantee that the recruited fishers will be able to work together with the captain. This recruitment method seeks to ensure the smoothness of the work at sea but we also realize that the process could be more formalized in the future in order to ensure fishers recruited have the right skills” shared Farida, a fishing vessel owner.
In terms of working time, the participating companies recognized that national rules on working hours were not fully clear to employers and only recently regulated through the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) Regulation No. 33 of 2021. Farida explained the complexity of working hours on board vessels and added “fishing is a hunting activity so for working hours, it depends on the schedule and the results of the fish catches. We have acknowledged that the working schedule in fishing is complex and different from other industries, but at the same time it is key to be aware of the recent regulation on working hours as this creates clarity and a level playing field among companies and takes into account the need for flexibility in working time in the sector."
Participating companies stated that even though they have provided fishers with an individual employment agreement, the issue of full understanding of the terms and conditions by fishers remained and that more should be done in the future to avoid deception and conflicts related to contracts.
Together with employers, we can find solutions and develop tools to prevent and address forced labour. This working group is also a forum for all employers in the sector to discuss issues of common interest. This will serve to consolidate a common position for discussion with the government and trade unions, as social dialogue also needs to be reinforced."Alix Nasri, ILO Accelerator Lab 8.7 Global Coordinator
The workshop was concluded with an initial agreement about the need for the establishment a regular working group where relevant employers’ associations and their member companies in the fishing industry could further address challenges faced to ensure a win-win situation for workers and employers.
“The ILO is committed to support Indonesia as one of the largest countries of origin of fishers and one of the largest fish producers. Together with employers, we can find solutions and develop tools to prevent and address forced labour. This working group is also a forum for all employers in the sector to discuss issues of common interest. This will serve to consolidate a common position for discussion with the government and trade unions, as social dialogue also needs to be reinforced” concluded Alix Nasri, ILO 8.7 Accelerator Lab Global Coordinator , in her closing remarks.
The 8.7 Accelerator Lab has partnered with the Indonesian Government and social partners to improve decent work and prevent forced labour in the fishing sector. It works to strengthen laws and policies and their implementation, as well as support social partners to address their challenges and engage in social dialogue.