Kevin's Blog

I've been in Jakarta for two very busy days now. I was met by Hema from the IUF and members of the Executive of our Sister Union the FSPM including the General Secretary, Benny Nasution.
Between them they soon got me "organised".Yanti Irawan, a FSPM staffer was assigned to be my "minder" and to make sure that I kept to schedule. She did a great job, so much so that I have visited five 5 star and one super luxury hotel and met and interviewed 20 union members and officials! Besides keeping me on my toes Yanti also managed to get me into a meeting with the Minister of Manpower at which Benny obtained a further meeting to argue the case as to why the hotel industry should be banned from employing casual workers and an big increase in the minimum wage. i've got so much information i haven't yet had the time to type up my notes. Not that I'm going to be given the chance. First thing in the morning i'm getting the train to Bandung to repeat the exercise. The FSPM are a small team that certainly punches above it's weight. They have notched up some very significant victories. They have a wonderful team spirit despite their few resources; one computer, one fax machine and two desks for 4 organisers and when we met in their tiny office we all sat cross legged on the floor. It was one of the most enjoyable meetings I have had in years.Their good humour and indomitable spirit reminded me that the basics of organising isn't dependent on massive resources.
Nexy blog will be from from Bandung. By the way those of you who think I'm lucky to be avoiding our winter, it's 88 degrees with tropical rain. I'm getting roasted and soaked at the same time!