Through its a new report, “The Impact of BWI: A 10-Year Reflection”, BWI highlights a significant improvement shown by the Indonesian garment sector in compliance with labour regulations and standards and the existing challenges in maintaining this improvement. The report also demonstrates a collective effort undertaken by both workers and employers as well as international brands to gain such an achievement.
"Despite some significant challenges, I am pleased to see that many compliance issues have been improved through the strengthening of collective bargaining activities and agreements as well as improvement of working conditions," stated Michiko Miyamoto, ILO's Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, in her opening address.
Despite some significant challenges, I am pleased to see that many compliance issues have been improved through the strengthening of collective bargaining activities and agreements as well as improvement of working conditions."Michiko Miyamoto, ILO's Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, in her opening address
The discussion reviewed and examined economic challenges and way forwards for the garment sector by highlighting possible future risks in anticipation of a potential wave of economic crisis. "We may already know that the industries with the highest growth Q1 to Q3 this year are textile and garment," explained Faisal. "Fashion and garment are the most impacted, but they recover the fastest."
A similar assessment was also shared by Anne as the representative of the garment industry, saying that Indonesia's garment industry has successfully proven to withstand the economic downturn caused by the pandemic because of automation, adaptation and collaboration with the labour force. "Our sector survives and thrives because we, together with our unions or partners, work hand-in-hand to continue producing top-quality products for this industry," she said.
The IBF also put the spotlight on sexual harassment and workplace violence in the garment sector. Participants joined an exercise where they had to identify acts of sexual harassment from a poster depicted common risks from daily working situations at various factories across the country, as reported by garment workers during sessions of BWI’s Respectful Workplace Programme (RWP) training programme. The exercise clearly showed that sexual harassment could occur in all departments of a garment factory as well as perpetrators and victims could be anyone working at the factory.
Fashion and garment are the most impacted, but they recover the fastest."Faisal Basri, a leading economist from University of Indonesia
Moreover, the participants were taken to directly experience sexual harassment prevention and handling using a virtual reality (VR). As a new way to experience self-learning on sexual harassment, the VR aimed to work on behavioural changes at the individual level and to review company policies and mechanisms.
The IBF concluded with the identification of persistent non-compliance such as overtime payment. Around 45 percent of the BWI’s participating factories repeatedly reported this issue. Therefore, the IBF was closed with a final session emphasizing the urgent need for a collaboration to achieve a more robust and equitable ecosystem for the entire industry.
Our sector survives and thrives because we, together with our unions or partners, work hand-in-hand to continue producing top-quality products for this industry."Anne Patricia Sutanto, Vice Chairperson of the Indonesia’s Textile Association (API)
Conducted since 2012, BWI aims to improve working conditions and productivity in targeted employment-intensive sectors (garment and footwear) by improving compliance with international core labour standards and Indonesian labour laws. It also aims to promote productivity and competitiveness of enterprises linked to global supply chains. BWI works with over 200 factories employing more than 400k workers in Jakarta, West and Central Java.