From LABOR-L@YORKU.CA Fri Feb 9 07:08:51 2001
Sydney hotel workers to protest World Bank funding of Jakarta hotel
ACTU media alert, 7 February 2001
For media diaries
ACTU President, Sharan Burrow, will speak at an anti-World Bank rally on Friday February 9 outside the World Bank's Sydney offices in Martin Place, to protest at the way Indonesian hotel workers - employed by the Jakarta Shangri-La Hotel - have been treated.
The Shangri-La Jakarta hotel was funded with an US$86 million joint World Bank-private sector loan to an Indonesian consortium in 1992. A member of this same consortium also received World Bank loans in 1996 to expand oil-palm plantations, which helped to contribut to deforestation in the environmentally degraded province of Kalimantan.
SUPPORT LOCKED-OUT INDONESIAN WORKERS
The Jakarta Shangri-La hotel locked out its workers on 22nd of December 2000.
The workers had begun protesting against the victimisation and suspension of their elected union president, Halilintar Nurdin. The suspension of the union president followed two months of stalled negotiations with hotel managment (which included reversals on previous agreements) over a new agreement.
On Boxing Day, 2000, the hotel management invited the Jakarta police into the hotel. The police violently dragged out over two hundred hotel workers involved in a sit-in. 30 key union activists were held for 24 hours - without charge - in a Jakarta police cell.
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Shangri-La management has since refused to meet the unions' leaders to negotiate a collective agreement and an end to the dispute.
The global federation of hotel unions - the IUF - has written to the Australian-born President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, demanding he 'forcefully inform' the management of the Shangri-La Jakarta Hotel to respect workers' rights and to negotiate in good faith with the local hotel union.
ACTU President, Sharan Burrow, has personally met with Mr Wolfensohn to discuss the Bank's loan to the owners of the Shangri-La hotel.
At the moment the five-star Shangri-La hotel and resort chain do not have a hotel in Australia. However, they have recently tendered to the Victorian Government to build a Shangri-La hotel and residential facility at the Docklands site in Melbourne.
If you want more information about this long-running dispute visit the following websites: http://www.labourstart.org/indonesia/shangrila.shtml http://www.iuf.org/iuf/Urgent/index.htm#Shangri-La
For further info: Ma Wei Pin, Asia-Pacific Regional Secretary IUF, 02 9264 6409
Tel: (416) 216-0875