“My name is Ganis Rengganis, I am 28 years old. I am married and have 1 child. I work in a book printing company in the Solokan Jeruk area, Bandung Regency, Indonesia, I have worked in this company for 6 years. Every day I work from 8 am to 5 pm. The monthly salary I received in this company was Rp. 1,500,000 or $ 100 USD. If my family and I were sick, I was forced to pay my own expenses to the doctor, because as long as I worked, the company did not enroll me and my family in health insurance.
I also didn’t have the social insurance and other rights that I should get. Of course, that wage was not sufficient for the necessities of life for me and my family, especially since I have a 2-year-old child. I was forced to work in this company with a wage below the minimum wage, because in our area it was very difficult to find jobs, especially for men, if there are jobs where the companies are better, we have to pay a very large amount of money to get to work in big company.
If we protested to employers, they would not hesitate to scold the workers and were threatened with layoffs. Most workers are afraid of the attitude of employers like that, and we are afraid of losing our jobs, so there is no other choice, we only work according to the employer's orders, even though in a state of pressure and discomfort.
The testimony above is only a significant reflection of many realities of young workers today: Issues such as low wages, no health insurance, no social security, no security at work, not recognizing labor and human rights.
Work is under pressure from employers and it is difficult to find more humane jobs. Wages given are only enough f to survive to work again the next day. Many employers do not care about the condition of the workers' families, their welfare, and the dignity of the workers as human beings.
Such a situation today occurs in almost all sectors and types of work over the world.
Such Realities are caused by greed of the owners and shareholders as well as in the lack of social responsibility. Profit is given more priority than human rights and respect of the labor laws. Religious teachings and of God are in several cases just part of the society’s status and are not interpreted in ways of acting with other human beings or respecting the Mother Nature.
The outbreak of COVID19 pandemic throughout the world affected all countries. With this, the realities of young workers gaver even worsened. Many of them have been laid off from work, sent to home without pay, lost their jobs and income, had to cope without social and health insurance were unable to pay rent and could not return to their hometown, and many other economic struggles. Even before the COVID19 outbreak occurred the conditions of workers were very far from decent and just work. Indeed, most of the government are not ready to address the pandemic. All sectors are in the vulnerable condition, most specifically the young workers. Some governments are not providing economic security to protect workers from the harsh impact of Covid 19, to ensure the right to have a decent Work.
Many of us don't understand what decent work means. The definition of decent work: Dignified or just work meaning respecting the fundamental human and workers’ rights.
in simple terms is paid or provides sufficient income to pay for a decent and dignified life and is guaranteed physical and psychological security and safety.
To be able to say it is decent work, it is expected that it can fulfill the following 3 conditions:
- Available to all persons of productive age (so excluding children) without exception, including those with physical disabilities, and without gender barriers.
- All workers are socially protected, including those involved in informal economic activities.
- All workers have their voices and aspirations channeled through a democratic system that is humanely valued.
Can this dream of decent work be realized in your own life, workplaces, country?
It is not only possible; it is a must. These conditions are essential for the sake of a just and humanity. Human beings possess a God given dignity, meaning that everyone has the right to decent living and working conditions, and furthermore needs to make the world a better place – of course including through work!
A work in decent conditions, through which a worker fulfills his/her mission: this is dignified work.
We will reach it!
The strength and unity of workers together is fundamental. Education through action is the key to our success in advancing our advocacy and campaign for just work and dignified life for all workers.On this decent work day, IYCW invites all NM”s and its members, friends and supporters around the world for advancing our fight in a call for a more concrete and solid education and multiply our actions because only in the hands of young workers we are surely able to change the world. Let’s continue the struggles to call for a more humane, more just and reiterating the recognition and respect for labor and human rights this Decent work day.