Before I fell ill, I hadn’t been feeling well enough to work for two or three days. But I still went to work because I wouldn’t be able to get sick leave without a certificate from the factory clinic.
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This is the sort of pump which is generally used in rental house areas, including my family’s home. This single pump is used by about 10 different rental houses (20-30 people). Because of the large amount of people using it sometimes the water comes up murky.
Since the start of the fasting month my mother has been selling clothing to her friends at her factory. She purchases the clothes from outlets and makes a profit of between 5,000-10,000 Rupiah per item (60 cents to $1.15). From past experience my mother has sold at least 50 pieces. If only she had a bit more start-up capital, I’m sure she could get more clothing to sell.
As a worker on a low wage, sometimes I get scared when I imagine my future. I worry that when I am elderly my own situation won’t be that different from my neighbours. Even in their old age they have to work very hard just to scrape by.
I recently attended a friend’s wedding ceremony. The couple come from different ethnic backgrounds, which made this ceremony quite unique. The bride and groom had to change into four different outfits to pay their respects to each of the parents. They wore Sundanese dress (orange), Javanese dress (green), Lampung and Sumatra dress. In this photo the couple wears an Arabic costume and they are reading prayers from al-Qur’ān.
It has become a custom for Indonesians to commemorate Independence Day by holding competitions. This year the factory also held competitions for the workers inside its grounds. The competitions included panjat pinang (pole climbing) and a singing competition.
Wednesday was the first day of Ramadan – the Islamic month of fasting. For the next forty days I will fast from dawn till dusk. You may wonder whether fasting affects my ability to concentrate at work. Actually I’ve been doing it since I was young so I don’t have any difficulties; I’m already used to fasting at work.
Last year I had the opportunity to join in some leadership training conducted by the NGO Kapal Perempuan. I learnt many new things from the training, but as just one example, something that really impressed on me was the way that we perceive the differences between women and men. It’s not true to say that only men can be described as “providers”. But in the past this is an assumption that I had always accepted.
Today I want to talk a bit about why unions are important for workers like me. I became a member of my union because it pays attention to the situation of workers and their rights, as well as their obligations. I also feel that I’ve been able to learn many things since participating in union activities. For example, I’ve learnt that once the company has made a regulation on our rights it can’t just take those rights away again or erase them.
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 […]