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Labor Pains: Coming Closer Together at Garuda

As Another Strike Looms, Indonesian State Owned Enterprise Official Calls For Garuda Pilots to Soften Their Stance for the Sake of the Airline.

(9/9/2011) Indonesia’s Ministry of State Owned Enterprises (BUMN) says it regrets that the Garuda Pilot Association (APG) have declared their intent to strike again in September 2011, following the Union's  failure to achieve an agreement with the Airline.

According to Bisnis.com, the Deputy Minister for infrastructure and logistics at BUMN, Sumaryanto Widayatin, has called on the APG to show professionalism and work to restore the synergy of the national flag carrier.

Sumaryanto said, “they (APG) has brought this problem to the industrial court without understanding that the strike action they will undertake is a criminal act.”

He went on to suggest that the image of Garuda will suffer and decline if the APG undertake a strike instead of achieving a compromise with management.

“A strike will only favor personal interests over company interests, which means they lack a sense of ‘ownership,’ Sumaryanto noted.

Sumaryanto said the BUMN is always open to play the role of a mediator in negotiations between the airline and its pilots, providing a quick resolution can be achieved to end the prolonged discord. ‘We have repeatedly mediated the dispute. That which has been done by the Minister for BUMN, Bapak Mustafa, has bee ‘too good.’ I hope the APG will soften its stance.”

The Deputy Minister prayed the APG will reconsider their plans to go on strike. He said it was the obligation of the APG to support Garuda and its current successful journey towards profitability.

He added: “Many of their complaints have no basis. One (complaint) is the contracts offered to foreign pilots which will soon come to an end.”

APG president, Stephanus Gerardus Rahadi, confirmed to the press that his union remains at an impasse with the airline after eight days of negotiations mediated by the BUMN Ministry.

Said Rahardi: “The management of Garuda is not being serious in handling our three main demands: communication, working contracts and contracts for foreign pilots.”

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[Garuda Crews Set to Go on Strike, Again]