Champ Resto Indonesia, one of Indonesia’s leading fast food chains, dismissed 83 workers in July 2016 for taking part in a protest demonstration over health insurance. The events leading up to the demonstration were particularly tragic. In November 2015, a Champ Resto worker’s newborn baby died when the child was refused essential hospital care. It was then that the workers learned they were not registered in the government health insurance programme for employees and their families. The father of the newborn child, who had worked at Champ Resto for fourteen years, was fired for taking five days off while the family mourned.
The company took no steps to join the programme following this tragic event. Finally, in July 2016 members of the national hotel and restaurant workers’ federation, FSPM, held a demonstration in Bandung to demand that Champ Resto register all employees for family medical coverage in accordance with government regulations. The company immediately dismissed 83 workers. The union protested, management consistently refused to reinstate the workers and in response to continued union protests further pressured union members. Fourteen workers active in the union were transferred from Bandung to Jakarta – a distance of over 100 kilometres and three hours’ travel. Without accommodation and separated from their families, 12 of the 14 resigned.
By early 2017 there was still no change. The union continued to hold weekly demonstrations to demand reinstatement of the dismissed workers, full respect for trade union rights and the inclusion of all company workers and their families in the government health insurance scheme