Timor-Leste: How the government and employers deal with strike

I. Companies that union organized Strike Action

1. Chubb Security-Australian Branch
-  On 3rd of December 2003, KSTL organized a strike which involved 32 workers of Chubb security. Those workers were worked at World Bank office in Dili. The Strike action was took place at the World Bank office.
-  The reason of strike was because Chubb reduced workers’ wages 29%. Union requested to the company to not reduce the wages and demanded for back paid.
-  What company done was dismissed all the 32 workers.
-  What was the government doing on this? Government did nothing. So union had to take the case to the court. It was really time consuming for union to get the court decision.

2. East Timor Plumbing & Gas
-  The strike was took place in Dili, on April 2004
-  The reason for strike was because company pending workers wages for more than 5 months
-  Union demand to company to pay money that owned by the company
-  What the employer did? They threaten workers and the union and call for police for intervene. The union leader got tentative of assassination (the boss tried to kill union leader by driving a car with high speed and hit the union leader in the picket line. Fortunately union leader escape from tentative of assassination)
-  What government did? Nothing
-  The dispute finally settle because of union struggle

3. Justice Ministry
-  The protest was take place at the office of justice ministry on 11 of October 2011
-  The reason was because the intervention of the minister in the industrial relation by closing down the business (hotel and restaurant) has caused 19 union members lost their job.
-  Union demand for the justice minister to continue give permission to the company as they already have permit to run the business so the workers can continue to work
-  What the government (justice minister, labour minister) did? They call police to intervene by dismissed the protest and arrested 17 union members, 1 union delegates (female) 1 union leader and put them all in the police cell for 72 hours)

4. Mandiri Bank (an Indonesia bank) - 2011
-  The strike was taken place at Mandiri bank main office in Dili on 19 December 2011.
-  The reason of strike because the management unfairly dismissed 2 union leaders. Union was demand for reinstatement
-  What the management did? They call police and dismissed the strike. Some of policemen from a few department were came to strike venue for dismiss the strike and they also brought with weapon and gun.
-  What government did? They have tried to do something to the case, but they were not really serious and during the negotiation process, many times the employer was steering the government officers.
-  The case was solving bipartite after union made a huge campaign. Company not reinstate, but just pay compensation more and more than labour law says.

5. Central Maritime Hotel (floating hotel)
-  The strike was take place in Dili on July 2004
-  Reason of strike was because unclear contract and existing discrimination among local end foreign worker on food and wages
-  Union was demanded for improving working condition and negotiating wages
-  What employer did? They refuse to negotiate with the union and employed new workers to replace strike workers
-  What government did? Nothing

6. Timor Global (coffee export company)
-  The strike was took place in Railaku (Ermera District) on October 2010
-  The reason of strike was because bad working condition (no OH&S)
-  Union demanded to improve working condition
-  What employer did? They negotiate with union for improving working condition
-  What government did? Nothing (there is no labour inspector to visit the company

II. ILO convention 87

Timor-Leste ratified ILO Convention 87 and 98 in 2009. Even though Timor-Leste just ratified ILO convention in 2009, but the right to strike has already stated clearly in the constitution of Timor-Leste article 51 and labour code of Timor-Leste.
Many cases happened most on unfair dismissal. Those workers that organized themselves into union, company try to dismiss. It just like a threat to the workers to avoid workers organize them self in the union. There is only way to stop this kind of anti union attitude. But the employers that using police to attack union when union organizing strike or picket line.

After the ratification of convention 87, the situation remains worst (nothing change). And there is no such good arrangement for making report to the ILO by the government concerning the ratified convention.