The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated workers’ lives, not only in Indonesia, but also in global world. Young workers, aged 18-35, are not safe from this threat either. According to him, the threat was real in plain sight. Covid-19 will turn into an economic crisis that endangers the lives of workers, young and old. “We are at risk of being laid off, losing wages, losing health insurance, and eventually of losing welfare,” Usman said.
For Usman, there is no other way for workers to anticipate the risks than immediately joining the union and formulating more progressive future plans. Beside being the Coordinator of the West Java Regional Committee of SERBUK Indonesia, Usman currently holds the position of the Chairperson of Workers’s Union at PT Daiwabo Nonwoven Indonesia, a Japanese multinational company. Joining the union since 2016 has made him even more convinced of the path of change. “Trade unions teach many things in my life: solidarity, integrity, as well as crucial new knowledge,”he emphasized his experience in the union.
Facing the Covid-19 pandemic situation, Usman urged the Indonesian Government to focus more on dealing with the impact of the pandemic than imposing their agenda to ratify the Omnibus Law on Job Creation which actually disrupted the lives of workers.Usman is part of those who are active in the struggle to reject the Omnibus Law in Indonesia.Together with the workers’ union in his company, Usman involved in various actions to reject the Omnibus Law and other anti-labor policies. “The government should focus more on handling the pandemic rather than insisting the Omnibus (Law),” said Usman.
In connection with the 2020 International Youth Day (IYD) celebration called for by the Building and Wood Workers’ International Global Union, Usman has great expectation that young workers will be better prepared in the future to face global challenges and threats. For him, #IYD2020 is a momentum for young workers to move forward and fight more progressively. “Globalization and all the instruments that are sponsored by Revolution 4.0 give a message to us all. In the future, we will not only relying on muscle work, but also be challenged to empower ourselves by mastering technology,” he hoped.
Happy Celebration of #IYD2020, Young Workers, Unite! Amandla!
Usman Sopiyan (34)
Worker of PT. Daiwabo Nonwoven Indonesia
Coordinator of West Java Regional Committee, SERBUK Indonesia.