Over time or over it?

Blogs, Ethical trading & business, Labour rights, Women's rights article written on the 05 Jun 2010

Photo: Fernando Moleres/Intermon

English / Bahasa
Last week I worked 9 hours overtime. This week on top of overtime I’ll also work a Saturday night shift. I will depart for the factory at 9 in the evening and return home at 6 in the morning, possibly not until 7.

Long hours are not out of the ordinary for me. Mostly I’m quite happy to have overtime because it means additional income (overtime wages are significantly higher), but of course there are sometimes when we don’t want to work overtime at all. For example, women who are pregnant shouldn’t be working long hours.

Whether or not you can refuse (to do overtime) depends a lot on your boss. There are supervisors who understand, and supervisors who do not. Formally speaking we don’t have to accept overtime, but if we ever refuse we might never be offered the chance to take overtime again. Our base wages are so low that working overtime is an important way of increasing our income. This means that even if we have other commitments or feel unwell, it is very difficult for us to say no. Unless, that is, you have a particularly nice supervisor.

To read more about my work life experiences, visit my working life.

Ask Sewani…

Sewani is happy to answer your questions about her experiences of life from the factory floor. But please remember Sewani often works long hours and doesn’t have much free time so she may take a few days to respond.

Related Indonesian entry – Bahasa Indonesia

Soal Lembur

Minggu lalu saya lembur 9 jam. Malam minggu besok saya juga akan bekerja malam. Kalau kerja malam, saya berangkat jam 9 malam dan pulang jam 6 pagi, kadang-kadang sampai jam 7.

Jam kerja panjang sudah biasa bagi saya. Biasanya saya senang untuk lembur karena pendapatan saya akan lebih tinggi (upah untuk jam lembur lebih tinggi dari upah biasa). Tapi tentu saja terkadang kami tidak mau lembur. Perempuan hamil, misalnya, sebaiknya tidak bekerja terlalu lama.

Untuk bisa menolak lembur atau tidak, sangat tergantung pada atasan kami. Ada atasan yang mengerti, ada atasan yang tidak mengerti. Secara resmi kita tidak harus menerima perintah lembur. Tetapi kalau kita menolak, takutnya kita tidak akan ditawarkan untuk lembur lagi. Karena upah kami rendah, lembur merupakan sumber penghasilan yang penting. Sehingga, sekalipun kami sudah ada janjian/acara lain, atau bahkan jika kami merasa kurang sehat, tetap sulit bagi kami untuk menolak… kecuali kalau atasannya baik dan pengertian.