Huawei’s Indonesian labor union (Sehati) is holding its second demonstration today to protest illegal foreign workers hired by the company. Huawei’s presence in Indonesia is quite important as nine out of 10 local telcos use Huawei’s telecoms equipment, and now the company’s operations are put on hold for three days because of this protest.
TribunNews quoted Sehati chairman Dedy Adriyansah today as saying that they demand Huawei management treat workers more fairly. The union claims that the company discriminates against Indonesian workers and prioritizes foreign ones, even those who are working here illegally.
Dedy believes that there are a lot of Huawei foreign employees who do not yet have a full working permit here. Furthermore, they are occupying strategic positions which are not permitted by the Indonesian government, such as in the HR department. Lastly, the union states that quite a few foreign workers do not even have adequate working qualifications. 80 percent of Huawei’s 1,000 higher up positions, the group claims, are taken by foreign workers from China, India, and Pakistan.
Since the first Sehati demonstration in December, a few of Huawei’s foreign employees have been tracked down by authorities, but some of them haven’t been processed by the immigration office. Dedy also explained that, more often than not, Huawei has forced its workers to work overtime on public holidays, and threatens to fire them if the workers do not comply. One of the other labor union demands is for an appropriate overtime payment that corresponds to standards set by Indonesian law.
One of the demonstrators, Diyan Pramudya, spoke to Liputan6 and said they also demand the conversion of many Huawei temporary/outsourced workers into permanent employees.
Indonesian law states that outsourced workers must be converted into full time employees after being contracted more than twice. A lot of Huawei’s outsourced workers have been contracted seven to 10 times and still haven’t been promoted to full time positions. Temporary workers account for 70 percent of Huawei’s entire workforce.
Diyan believes that the number of demonstrators will continue to grow to 1,500 people today.
Huawei’s second strike
Kompas cited Huawei’s representative Yunni Christine in February stressing that the company has never violated Indonesian employment law. Only 20 percent of Huawei’s employees are foreigners, with the rest of them being local workers.
There still remains the claim that 70 percent of the so-called local workers have been outsourced too many times without being given a full time position – as well as many not being given appropriate overtime pay. Sehati has previously claimed that the union has proof that 1,000 out of the 1,300 foreign workers at Huawei do not have legal working permits.