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Tuesday, 20 September 1994
Page: 980


Senator MARGETTS —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes that:

    (i)the head of the Indonesian Welfare Labour Union (SBSI), Mr Muchtar Pakpahan, is on trial in Indonesia on 20 September 1994 for organising a rally which 30 000 workers attended,

    (ii)Mr Pakpahan is being charged with inciting workers in the run-up to the rally, which led to riots 5 months ago, and

    (iii)the Indonesian Government:

      (a)has deployed 1,500 troops and police around the city to stop people demonstrating against the trial, and

      (b)does not recognise the SBSI, therefore it is illegal for workers to strike if employer negotiations over wages and working conditions break down;

  (b)calls on the Indonesian Government:

    (i)to provide a fair trial for Mr Pakpahan with the principles of natural justice and due process, and

    (ii)to recognise the concerns of 30 000 of its workers and to review the legality of the SBSI, which is Indonesia's largest independent trade union; and

  (c)requests that the Australian Government review its policy of funding the only Government-approved union in Indonesia and consider extending funding to independent unions such as the SBSI.