Crisis Update: Indonesian Unions Confront COVID-19

Jun 24, 2020


Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA has received a COVID-19 crisis update from Indonesia, where our partner organisations are mobilising to build the resilience of workers at risk of contracting the Coronavirus.

Read their update here:

RE: Coronavirus Hits Vulnerable Workers in Indonesia

The spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia continues to increase and spread across regions. It is impacting on economic, social, and cultural life in Indonesia, as well as the welfare of the people.

At the moment the spread of COVID-19 has been declared a National Disaster in Indonesia. The government has implemented many policies on social distancing, and it predicts that COVID-19 will not peak until June or July 2020.

Workers must deal with the potential exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, when leaving and returning to work and their homes. At the same time workers are also faced with the threat of losing their jobs and livelihoods.

Many companies are running deficits due to a lack of orders and the difficulty in obtaining raw materials for production. According to the Ministry of Labour, more than 2,800,000 workers have already been laid off as a result of the Coronavirus. The number of workers who lose their jobs will certainly continue to grow until this pandemic ends, pushing many workers into poverty.

– Local Initiative for OSH Indonesia (LION)

The situation in Indonesia is worsening, but Indonesian unions are already taking action to stop the spread of the virus and secure protection for communities of vulnerable workers.

Right now, our partner organization in Indonesia, the Local Initiative for OSH Indonesia (LION) is helping unions organise against the virus. They are mapping the impacts of the virus, distributing hand sanitation to neighbourhoods of street vendors, waste pickers, and home-based workers, as well as providing life-saving information and personal protective equipment to other high-risk workers.

LION is also focusing information on COVID19 to workers who have been exposed to asbestos about how they can minimise the chance of contracting CO VID19 by using protective equipment, distancing themselves from others, and maintaining good hygiene.

And LION is working with other Indonesian unions to establish a crisis network of unions to coordinate a response to the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. LION is also rapidly working to establish a workplace health and safety hotline for workers impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Your solidarity can support Indonesian unions and workers across the globe respond to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.

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