Strengthening Industrial Relations in Indonesia Project

The programme builds the capacity of garment sector workers and their representatives to effectively organize and represent all workers in Indonesia’s garment sector. and participate more actively and inclusively in key national policy advocacy.

Project will address those challenges by focusing on Indonesia’s garment export sector where the ILO has a longstanding presence and programme – the ILO Better Work Indonesia programme. As one of the most “scrutinized” sectors in the country for compliance with labour laws and international labour standards and with unionization rates
higher than the national level, the garment sector remains an interesting entry point for change and “ripple effect”.

This project is part of an overall strategy by the ILO to strengthen industrial relations in Indonesia. It aims to achieve this by supporting trade unions in professionalizing and upgrading their operational, technical and policy engagement capacity, at both the federation, branch and workplace level.


The project aims to strengthen and revitalize Indonesian’s garment unions at a time when economic hardship and future of work challenges are high. Indonesia needs strong unions and worker representatives that can effectively work and partner with employers and the government to address the issues affecting its labour force. Only with stronger and more harmonious and balanced industrial relations can Indonesia achieve its goals and grow at the levels that are required to bring the country back on track post the Covid-19 pandemic.

This project aims, therefore, to tackle some of the most pressing challenges affecting workers and their organizations today, including:
  1. Declining membership and deficiencies and gaps in garment trade union’s internal systems for data and members’ management and outreach;
  2. Lack of women leadership in trade unions and gender inclusive policies and practices at the trade union organizational structure level;
  3. Lack of capacity and effective coordination for policy advocacy, declining bargaining power and difficulties in being recognized as a viable partner to government and employers in addressing issues affecting the garment sector and industrial policy in general;
  4. Lack of knowledge by garment workers of their rights in general and in particular about the Job Creation Law No. 11 of 2020; and
  5. Lack of skills in organising and engaging in workplace cooperation, particularly by those unions and workers’ representatives (including unaffiliated trade unions) that have had less access to support and training.

Key outcomes and expected impact

Outcome 1: By 2025, the capacity of trade unions in the garment sector to operate and connect, recruit and retain members, and elect women leaders, is enhanced.

Outcome 2: The capacity of trade unions in the garment sector to engage in inclusive and gender-responsive policy analysis and dialogue is improved.

Outcome 3: By 2025, the capacity of workers and their representatives, at the factory level, to know their rights and engage in organizing and workplace cooperation is improved.

The project shall contribute to strengthening the trade unions in the garment sector by increasing representation and supporting their unions in policy advocacy. In addition to that, the project should lead to more women’s participation and leaderships in the trade union while at the same time fostering policy proposals that address gender inequality specific issues.


Direct beneficiaries: Garment women workers and their representatives at the factory, branch and federation levels.

Indirect beneficiaries: All other garment workers, unionised or not, that may benefit from a better standing and bargaining position by garment trade unions in the country.