Raise their voices for change: garment workers speak out

Indonesia

Rika: defending working mothers

For the past eight years, Rika has been a quality control manager at a garment factory in Indonesia, as well as a worker representative. Rika also leads a community solidarity group for workers at three factories. In this role, she addresses both work challenges and community issues.

In her leadership role: “I ask them to discuss any complaints or problems they may have in their family life or at work,” she says. “Then I help my colleagues find solutions. I help co-workers or worker representatives to convey their messages to management so that the problem is quickly resolved.

A problem ? Not enough time for mothers of infants to express breast milk.

“Some employees are afraid…that if they go away for a while to express their milk, their work will pile up, so the supervisor will be mad at them,” Rika says.

Rika knew that mothers had the right to express their milk without interference, so she raised this concern.

“As a female leader, I encourage workers who previously weren’t daring to do things like expressing breast milk, and they can report it to management if there’s a supervisor who forbids or doesn’t allow the employee to express her milk,” she added. said.

Like Moushoumi, Yen and many others who stepped out of their comfort zone and became leaders, Rika grew through her service in this role.

“I became more courageous in expressing my opinions,” she says. “As a female leader, I want women to be more courageous and fearless.”

Michael O. Stutler