Trade Union Workshop on Sustainable Development, Green Jobs and Decent Work in Indonesia

This initial training workshop is aimed at providing an overview and common understanding among key trade union representatives in Indonesia, on the concepts of ‘Sustainable Development, Inclusive Growth, Green Jobs & relevance of Decent Work mechanisms to achieving these.


This initial training workshop is aimed at providing an overview and common understanding among key trade union representatives in Indonesia, on the concepts of ‘Sustainable Development, Inclusive Growth, Green Jobs & relevance of Decent Work mechanisms to achieving these. The training is expected to contribute towards unions’ technical and organizational capacities for effective social dialogue for policy development and initiatives for sustainable development and decent work at work place.

There are a number of linked challenges facing the world of work – not just environmental but also social – all of which also create conflicts in Industrial relations. Against this background, we now have the slowing global and national economies and a serious threat to planet posed by the environmental degradation due to unsustainable business practices and global warming, among other climate change impacts. In view of limited financial and technological abilities of developing countries, changing economic and ecological environment poses great risks to workers, their livelihoods and well-being, and the poor communities in these countries, including the vast majority of women.

In industrial work, the threats to environment and sustainable development come not only from unsustainable production and consumption behaviour but also from certain business practices that seek to increase the flexibility in the area of production and employment. Unions in many countries have been urging a relook at practices concerning employment and production so as to ensure decent work and sustainable development.

Trade unions recognize that ‘business as usual’ approach cannot continue if countries have to move towards sustainable development. Moreover, as membership based organizations, they cannot ignore the fact that the measures to deal with climate change and reduce green house gases will affect workers livelihoods, employments and incomes. Addressing environmental concerns, including climate change, will involve bringing about a series of transformations in production (and consumption) patterns. While this process can create new opportunities for sustainable development, much of this transformation will also cause disappearance of jobs in energy intensive and polluting industries, both in developed and developing nations. Unions have therefore been stressing that employment transition measures are crucial for social and economic viability of climate change policies.

In Paris in Dec 2015, Governments have tried to come up with a new agreement and a shared vision for long term cooperative actions for less energy consuming and more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Within this paradigm promotion of green jobs is an important component. Green Jobs are also being recognized as an element of the response to the current global economic crisis. ILO is of the view that for ‘green jobs’ to make a major contribution to clean economic growth, development and poverty reduction, it is essential that these are decent jobs from social (including gender) perspective; It is in this context that the ILO’s Decent Work strategy (that takes into account people’s aspirations for decent jobs, better opportunities, voice & representation), and tripartite social dialogue become relevant as a strategy for addressing the challenges posed by climate change and in developing policy responses at national level.

ACTRAV is of the view that since these environment & climate change impacts will affect workers, it is important that workers are not only made aware of it, but are also involved in the process of managing this change towards green economy. To ensure effective workers participation in this process there must be freedom of association. Respect for freedom of association and right to collective bargaining are as much a part of the solution for a low-carbon world as is the technology. The green jobs promotion strategies also need to pay attention to ‘training & skills’ needs of workers, including of the women workers (who not only bear disproportionate burden of adverse changes but also tend to get excluded due to design and implementation process of policy responses).

The InSIGHT Project recognizes the important role of trade unions in the sustainable & inclusive growth of industries and workplaces. Supported by the Government of Japan, the ILO InSIGHT Project is working towards the relevant contribution of the social partners to address the global challenges such as economic growth and social inclusion, environment and resource security, while at the same time, advancing decent work for all. This workshop is a step towards fostering a broad-based understanding of the implications of these challenges in Indonesia’s context.

The InSIGHT Project, though with a regional scope, through its country-level activities that it is staring in Indonesia, is being designed demonstrate policy-driven measures and practical approaches that can enable industries and workplaces to equitably shift to sustainable operations founded on decent work. At the workplace level, dialogue among workers’ and employers’ representatives is essential because it helps to foster a process of workplace improvement that provides benefits in terms of better working conditions, productivity and social cohesion. This can also unleash the potential for alternative solutions, such as engaging workers to support sustainability efforts and, in turn, allowing the enterprise to continuously operate through challenges and secure quality jobs for its workers.

Objectives and Key Content

This workshop will therefore address the following needs:

  • Raise awareness among workers representatives on climate change challenges and develop understanding on the linkages between environment policies and labour standards so as to promote not only green jobs but decent work for workers in a green economy;
  • Promote union capacities for engaging in social dialogue at national and company level to contribute to policy making and initiatives to for sustainable development and decent work.
  • Initiate the development of follow-up activities at the national, local and/or regional level that is aimed at contributing to the technical and/or institutional development within trade unions in the area of workers education, policy development and actions for promotion of decent jobs in a green economy.

The workshop will focus on the following themes:

  1. Country Situation Review [Main environmental, social and economic problems in the country, company, actions being taken, trade union involvement and so on]
  2. Globalization policies, sustainable development and workers agenda
  3. Understanding new global challenges (environment, climate change) and currently proposed responses
  4. Environment protection, working conditions, & labour standards
  5. ILO’s Decent Work Approach, DWCPs and Green jobs
  6. Developing follow-up actions within the context of InSIGHT’s country-level activities