Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA sent donated funds to the Trade Union Care Centre (TUCC) in Banda Aceh last year to run trainings for worker and trade union activists on COVID-19 prevention, and how to deal with the lay-offs due to temporary business closures. Last year, more than 2,000 people died in Aceh from COVID-19. In Indonesia, deaths from COVID-19 peaked in August 2021. Now vaccination rates in Aceh are over 85%. But during the past year, tens of thousands of workers in Aceh lost their jobs and many more lost wages.
TUCC was formed with support of international trade unions after the tsunami in late 2004. It coordinated aid efforts, and construction of community centres in four locations. After the losses in the tsunami, it assisted rebuilding Aceh unions and local branches of Indonesian unions and has now become a support base for the Aceh council of trade unions (Aliansi Buruh Aceh). This project was done in cooperation with the Bandung-based Local Initiative for OHS Network (LION) which is central to education in Indonesia about asbestos diseases.
TUCC trained 90 trade union and worker activists in COVID-19 and occupational health and safety, used social media for disseminating information, and ran a talk show on Radio Serambi FM. The training focussed on workers in the hospitality, transport, health and energy sectors.