Workers Union KSPI Crying Wolf on Layoffs: BKPM Chief

BY :TABITA DIELA

FEBRUARY 09, 2016

Jakarta. Following a recent claim made by a local workers union, Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) says the public should not be misled by inaccurate statements on job cuts in the country, arguing that such statements only sow confusion and are bad for investment.

"The previous information needs to be corrected," Franky Sibarani, BKPM chairman, said on Tuesday (09/02).

"With Honda and Yamaha, for example, we've confirmed that there was not a single layoff. We also heard more than 2,000 workers were laid off from Panasonic and Toshiba when, in fact, only 425 workers from Panasonic [were affected]," he said.

Previously, the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) claimed that local units of Japanese automaker Honda and motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha have laid off thousands of workers following low sales numbers in 2015.

According to the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI), motorcycle sales only reached 6,480,155 units in 2015, a drop of 18 percent compared to 7,908,941 units a year earlier.

The union made several claims over the past weeks, including the one that said Panasonic and Toshiba let go thousands of workers and another claim on Monday that multinational pharmaceutical companies in Indonesia are starting to lay off hundreds as part of a planned reduction in production capacity.

Said Iqbal, the KSPI chairman who also leads the Confederation of Indonesian Metal Workers (FSPMI), mentioned in a statement recently that locally-incorporated companies that manufacture several global pharmaceutical brands like Novartis, Sandoz and Sanofi-Aventis, have laid off workers.

Industry Minister Saleh Husin, however, told reporters he has not heard about such plans from the pharmaceutical industry: neither that they intend to lay off workers nor that they want to scale back their operations.

"Give the [businesses'] names to us," Franky said. "I'll help [the employees] to get a job. We do not only deliver numbers without a solution, but we support investment to create jobs."

BKPM is targeting the creation of two million jobs in 2016, up from a realization of 1.4 million last year.

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