Workshop on Promoting Bipartite Dialogue in Industrial Area

Bipartite social dialogue can pave the way for mutually agreed solutions for addressing industrial relations (IR) challenges and promoting decent work. It can not only help improve compliance with labour laws and promote culture of collective bargaining but also create conditions for safe-productive workplaces and stable industrial relations – in other words a win-win situation.

Background and Objectives

Bipartite social dialogue can pave the way for mutually agreed solutions for addressing industrial relations (IR) challenges and promoting decent work. It can not only help improve compliance with labour laws and promote culture of collective bargaining but also create conditions for safe-productive workplaces and stable industrial relations – in other words a win-win situation. However for this win-win situation to come about, it is necessary to develop a concept of social partnership and cooperation between employers and workers organization(s) based on mutual trust, reciprocity and respect for the principles of freedom of association. In this process, arrangements for workplace cooperation and dispute resolution can play an important role.

ILO has been working with the constituents in Indonesia to promote collective bargaining as a vital mode of social dialogue that can help workers, employers and their organizations to reach mutually agreeable solutions while respecting each other’s needs. It is one of the pre-requisites for promoting democratic labour relations.

Collective bargaining is a form of voluntary collective dispute resolution system, conducted by the parties themselves, based on their own, balanced negotiating power. It is also true that the process of collective bargaining can often be adversial and frequently involve industrial conflict but there is no denying also that where the culture of collective bargaining has been accepted, mutual trust between social partners has also been built, leading to socio-economic progress and improvements in productivity as well as gains for both workers and employers.

This experience has also happened in Indonesia, especially in the industrial areas, such as Bekasi, Karawang, Cikarang and its surroundings. Conflicts and disputes in industrial relations which have occurred over recent years have their roots in a certain number of deficiencies in the general social dialogue climate, including a relative absence of meaningful collective bargaining at various levels, including the absence of dispute settlement resolution mechanism in which all parties have confidence. One of the recommendations from the ILO Direct Contact Missions (DCM) to Indonesia in 2016 also suggested for the tripartite to have a pilot exercise for the promotion of collective bargaining, coupled with improved inspection services (including possible involvement of self-inspection and trade union reporting) and better mediation services and access to industrial courts or arbitrators where industrial courts are not present. During the last 2 years, the ILO has supported series of activities in promoting dialogue through collective bargaining for the greater Bekasi area, including promoting bipartite and tripartite dialogue.

To sustain the progress made since 2017, Indonesia Employers’ Association (Apindo) and the representatives of the trade unions in the industrial areas in the greater Bekasi with the support from the ILO, will organize one-day workshop to promote the bipartite dialogue in the industrial areas to discuss arrangements for dispute prevention, resolution and workplace cooperation as part of the realization of the Pancasila principles to build constructive Industrial Relations.