3rd Sejahtera Homeworkers Union Congress Pushes for the Enactment of a North Sumatra Labour Regulation25 January 2019
On 24 January 2019, the four-year-old Sejahtera Homeworkers Union (SPR Sejahtera) hosted its third Congress in Medan, North Sumatra. The congress was held to formulate the strategic program of SPR Sejahtera and elect its regional leadership council for the 2019-2022 period. The congress also discussed the development of the North Sumatra Draft Regional Regulation on Labour.
In addition to the hundreds of homeworkers from Deli Serdang, Binjai, and Medan who participated in the event, also in attendance were representatives from homeworker unions, the Sumatra Legislative Council, the Office of Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children, Social Office, MAMPU Program and BITRA Indonesia.
Juliani, the Chairperson of SPR Sejahtera, explained, “Homeworkers are a section of society that contributes to the economic development of Indonesia. SPR Sejahtera will continue to advocate for the rights of homeworkers and the state must also be active in protecting homeworkers.”
The struggle to ensure that homeworkers obtain the needed legal acknowledgement and protection continues. At this time, the Draft Regional Regulation regarding Labour, which includes clauses for the protection of homeworkers, has been positioned as a 2019 Initiative Regional Draft Regulation. Member of Commission E of the North Sumatra Representative Council Danil Siregar, who attended the Congress, promised that they would push for the speedy enactment of this Draft.
The Coordinators of SPR Sejahtera elected for the 2019-2022 period are Juniani (chairperson), Susiani (vice chairperson), Mislam (secretary), Lisna Nasution (vice secretary), and Samsiah Harahap (treasurer).
SPR Sejahtera was established in 2015 in Medan. The organisation began because ten homeworker groups in Deli Serdang and Medan City who were experiencing poor working conditions saw the need to fight together to improve working conditions for all homeworkers. SPR Sejahtera now has a membership of around 1,200 homeworkers.
Erika Rosmawati, Coordinator of the Yayasan BITRA Program, explained, “We have put our trust in these elected coordinators that they will continuously struggle for the rights of women homeworkers and oversee the enactment of the North Sumatra Regional Regulation on Labour.
Diana Johannis, the MAMPU Program Thematic Coordinator for improving employment conditions, hopes that with SPR Sejahtera’s growing experience, the organisation’s capacity to network, promote women’s leadership and bring results for homeworkers and regional development will also continue to grow.