There are laws in Indonesia that allow the establishment of a bipartite cooperation institution (LKS bipartite) and a labor union.

An LKS bipartite is established based on article 106 of the Labor Law and MOM Regulation No. Per.32/Men/XII/2008 regarding proce­dures for the establishment and membership composition of a bipartite cooperation institution. An LKS bipartite is made up of members of management and employees at a ratio of 1:1 regardless of the number of unions. It shall have at least six members.

A group of at least 10 workers may establish a labor union. The notification and registration of labor unions is governed by MOM Decree No. Kep-16/MEN/2001. According to this Decree, unions and federations of labor unions must give written notification to the local MOM office in order to be registered.

 An LKS bipartite serves as a forum for communication and con­sultation between management and employees, and performs the following duties:

  • to convene periodic, and as required, meetings;
  • to communicate the policies of the company and the aspirations of the employees in the framework of preventing any industrial relations disputes at the company; and
  • to exchange advice and opinions between the company and employees in stipulating and implementing the policies of the company.

Law No. 21/2000, dated 4 August 2000, on labor unions, states that the objective of a labor union is to improve the members' skills, knowledge and productivity, and improve the pro­tection of members. A union is obliged to be free (ie, not subject to another's influence or pressure), open (to all and not based on political ideology, religion, ethnicity or gender), and independent (ie, acting on its own volition and not being controlled by a party outside the union).

A registered union can:

  • represent workers in labor disputes;
  • negotiate a CLA with the employer;
  • establish institutions or undertake activities to improve the welfare of workers;
  • plan, implement and take responsibility for workers' strikes; and
  • represent workers in attempting to obtain shared ownership in the company.

 Law No. 21/2000 imposes criminal sanctions on anyone who engages in certain anti-union activity, including:

  • preventing workers from forming a union, becoming members of a union or conducting union activities;
  • terminating an employee or reducing his or her salary for engaging in union activities;
  • conducting an anti-union campaign; or
  • intimidation in any form.

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