Labor regulations and industrial relations in Indonesia
Since the mid -1980s, Indonesia has rapidly deregulated. Employment opportunities, income generation capacity, and the opportunity to negotiate better working conditions have expanded. Many Indonesians are concerned that workers have not shared in economic development benefits and think that a minimum wage increase would bring bottom wages up and reduce wage differentials. Additionally, international agencies have criticized Indonesia for labor standard violations. In response, the Indonesian government has increased workers'statuary rights and removed collective bargaining obstacles. Real minimum wages doubled between 1988 and 1995. Regulation enforcement toughened. Manufacturing employment expansion has broaden statutory rights coverage, requiring enforcement. The government should close the gap between statutory rights and voluntary agreed-on working conditions. It must correct legal standards and reduce labor dispute intervention. Current labor regulations inhibit constructive discourse between workers and employers on: dismissal, dispute resolution mechanisms, and social security contributions. Appropriate legislative action in job safety and child labor is needed. Inviting public intervention rather than allowing strikes and lockouts to operate isolates negotiation from market conditions. While labor regulation should facilitate voluntary employer and worker agreements, it often discourages job creation. Keeping Indonesia's economy competitive requires an industrial relations system relying on voluntary wage and working condition negotiations. The tasks workers perform and the employers for whom they perform them must be subject to change. This process is a normal feature of healthy labor markets.
|Date of creation:||31 Aug 1996|
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National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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