BackgroundThe ILO embarked on a project on “Advancing Workers’ Rights in Indonesia’s Palm Oil Sector” in September 2019. The project’s objective is to ensure unions in the sectors/sub-sectors of the palm oil supply chain are better equipped to effectively represent and advocate for their members, promoting their access to fundamental workers’ rights, in particular freedom of association and collective bargaining, and contributing to sound industrial relations. The project will, therefore, help to improve workers’ access to labour rights – and, correspondingly, to better-quality jobs, contributing to improved compliance, through strengthened capacity of enterprises to implement core international labour standards and national labour laws, and to expanded rule of law at both national and local levels.
It will do so by inter alia facilitating social dialogue at the national and provincial/local levels; strengthening the capacity of labour unions to effectively engage in dialogue with the employers and government and advocate for their members; supporting the strengthening and enforcement of national legislation on labour issues and collecting and disseminating knowledge on employment and labour issues in the palm oil supply chain. In addition to plantations, the project will be targeting crude palm oil (CPO) factories, oleo chemical factories, as well as selected food and beverage industry actors that use palm oil as one of the main ingredients.
Moreover, the Government of Indonesia recently issued the Presidential instruction No.6/2019 on National Action Plan for Sustainable Palm Oil Plantation 2019-2024. The instruction aims to improve planter capacity and capability, land status and legislation settlement, palm oil utilization as renewable energy, diplomacy improvement for sustainable palm oil and acceleration of sustainable palm oil in Indonesia. It is a cross-cutting program among palm oil stakeholders in Indonesia, in which the Ministry of Manpower is responsible for the employment issues. However, in terms of the number of labour inspectors compared to the large areas of palm oil workplaces, it is still a major challenge.
Between 3,7 to 8 million workers are employed in Indonesia’ palm oil sector including within its supply chain, however, they are mostly not outreached by the labour inspectors to subject on labour compliance due to its domination as informal workers. Although the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil System (ISPO), a mandatory certification scheme has been put in place, it mostly focuses to address environmental concerns over deforestation, only a few parts on labour issues.
Taking into account to a large area of palm oil workplaces and hard geographical location as well, a traditional enforcement model of labour inspection is no sufficient to achieve effective and efficient enforcement and sustained compliance with National and International norms. Therefore, a strategic approach model is needed with a new methodology to achieve compliance outcomes in light with limited resources, mismatched powers and a need to shoulder greater responsibility for promoting compliance in the ever-evolving world of work.
To enable all labour inspectorates to apply the strategic compliance model, LABADMIN/OSH Branch of the ILO’s Governance and Tripartism Department, has developed the ILO approach to strategic compliance planning for labour inspectorates. A six-step exercise to formulate, sequence and operationalize broader thinking and action, that will help labour inspectorates attain the goal of sustained compliance, would be strategic considering to the above challenges. In line to outcome 4: Sound industrial relations are facilitated through strengthening capacity of the tripartite constituents to participate meaningfully in social dialogue, the ILO will organize a workshop on strategic compliance planning (SCP) in Indonesia’ Palm oil sector.