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Garuda Indonesia – “time to right the wrongs of law-breaking management”

news Press Release 12 Dec 2019

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) welcomes the Indonesian government’s decision to sack the chief executive officer and board of Garuda Indonesia after the most recent allegations of serious corruption at the airline.

However, the ITF sees these events as just another example of a law-breaking management – particularly Indonesian labour law – about which the ITF has frequently raised concerns.

ITF civil aviation section secretary Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez said: “Now is the time to right the wrongs of the previous Garuda Indonesia management that has let down key stakeholders: hardworking airline staff, passengers and Indonesian citizens - who ultimately own the company.

“We welcome to his post the new state enterprise minister of Indonesia, Erick Thohir. He has managed the difficult situation at Garuda Indonesia well, and he must take the opportunity to build a new culture at the airline.”

There are a number of pressing issues at Garuda Indonesia for the minister to urgently address:

  • Restore ‘check-off’, allowing workers to easily pay fees to their representative union
  • Reimburse fees due to the flight attendants’ association, Ikatan Awak Kabin Garuda Indonesia (IKAGI)
  • Reinstate to flight duties long-serving and loyal staff who have been victimised for union activity
  • End the management’s victimisation of union members
  • Begin a proper procedure for collective negotiations that complies with Indonesian and international law
  • Recognise the right of Garuda Indonesia workers to freedom of association
  • Create an improved environment for industrial relations at the company, which respects workers and their legitimate union

Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez added: “We also want to thank the government of Indonesia for rejecting the efforts by the former management at the airline to impose new leaders on IKAGI.

“Only union members have the right to decide their leaders. This is recognised in national law and International Labour Organization convention 87 on freedom of association and protection of the right to organise.”

This position was supported by the ITF civil aviation section committee, which resolved: ‘This committee recognises the rightful leadership of Zaenal Muttaqin and Jacqueline Tuwanakotta who have been leading IKAGI through this turbulent time. Both Brother Muttaqin and Sister Tuwanakotta are the democratically elected leaders of IKAGI alongside their fellow leaders on the executive board of IKAGI.’

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