Sogo

Feb 15th, 2007, in News, by

Sogo department store is accused of sacking women who wear headscarves.

In a story that seems to be exclusive to the Jakarta Post, which is sometimes a bad sign for a story’s real newsworthiness, the Sogo department store, operated by PT Mitra Adiperkasa (MAPI), is said to be planning to dismiss 150 employees, as MAPI has decided to close its branch in Plaza Indonesia at the end of this February.

Those whose jobs are at risk include five women who wear the headscarf, or jilbab, we are told, and some security guards and a number of men and women approaching retirement age. Thirty-seven Sogo employees, including the five women, have entered into negotiations with the store’s management, demanding to work at another branch of Sogo or one of MAPI’s other subsidiaries.

One of the women, Lila Rohila, 38 years old, says she had never thought her decision to wear a headscarf last year would ever become an issue for her or her work. After working for 15 years at Sogo Department Store in Plaza Indonesia, Central Jakarta, she was told to accept a demotion or resign. She blames the matter on the headscarf.

They told me that if I wanted to continue working here and wear my headscarf I had to work in the back office, which would mean a lower salary.

A cashier at the department store, Indarti Subari, 28, tells a similar tale. Despite her solid work performance, she says, reflected by a 12% raise last year, Indarti was also “asked” to resign. Indarti apparently refuses to accept the management’s explanation that staff layoffs are necessary because the company is facing financial difficulties.

When I asked them whether it was because I wore this (pointing to her headscarf), they refused to comment.

She too was offered a less-visible position.

The company has in the past been accused of discrimination when laying off staff. According to the company’s labor union, the Independent Labor Union Forum (FSPM), it also dismissed three women in 2002 who had refused to take off their headscarves for work.

MAPI’s head of investor relations Ratih D. Gianda said that it was true the Plaza Indonesia branch would be closed but dismissed allegations Sogo employees had been fired or demoted for wearing the headscarf.

The decision to put people in customer contact jobs does not rest on whether they wear the headscarf.

She said the company employed a number of women who wore the headscarf in a range of capacities.


24 Comments on “Sogo”

  1. avatar Grace and Mercy says:

    If I read this story correctly:

    150 workers (men&women) are going to be let go. 5 happens to be women who wears headscarf.

    I don’t understand why it suddenly became a headscarf issue? Boy oh boy!

  2. avatar Madesh says:

    Those who are wearing headscarf should have a privilege to stay because they are wearing the headscarf. (ngeyel.com)
    That is the rule in this country.

  3. avatar sgn says:

    Hi Grace and Mercy,

    Please read the story carefully.

    Only 5 women who wear headscarf are going to be let go. The others 145 do not wear headscarf. Meaning the possibility to be let go is higher for those do not wear headscarf.

    One of unfortunate 145 employees is me. πŸ™

  4. avatar Ihaknt says:

    SGN, well quick wear it then claim that they are being unfair. I think GnM did read correctly.

  5. avatar sgn says:

    Yes!!! I need the scarf right now…. It is very cold (40 deg F) right here.

  6. avatar Dimp says:

    Why are people who wear headscarfs become so sensitive?

  7. avatar sgn says:

    Because he/she wears on his/her head, not his/her heart.

  8. avatar Umay says:

    Dimp Says:
    February 15th, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Why are people who wear headscarfs become so sensitive?

    It’s a matter of belief bro, try to read more on islam, hehehehe.

  9. avatar Hassan says:

    “I don’t understand why it suddenly became a headscarf issue? Boy oh boy!”

    “Those who are wearing headscarf should have a privilege to stay because they are wearing the headscarf.”

    “Why are people who wear headscarfs become so sensitive?”

    Guys, please read the article carefully.

    “One of the women, Lila Rohila, 38 years old, says she had never thought her decision to wear a headscarf last year would ever become an issue for her or her work. After working for 15 years at Sogo Department Store in Plaza Indonesia, Central Jakarta, she was told to accept a demotion or resign. She blames the matter on the headscarf.”

    “They told me that if I wanted to continue working here and wear my headscarf I had to work in the back office, which would mean a lower salary.”

    How would you feel about that? If your company discriminate you over what you wear.

    And the clincher,

    “In a story that seems to be exclusive to the Jakarta Post, which is sometimes a bad sign for a story’s real newsworthiness.”

    sgn: You said, “One of unfortunate 145 employees is me. :-(”

    Really? Wow, that’s terrible!

    “Because he/she wears on his/her head, not his/her heart.”

    I couldn’t have agreed more..

  10. avatar Andrew says:

    Insecurity is a sign of inferiority – that’s all I can say.

  11. avatar Grace and Mercy says:

    Hassan, why am I not surprised AT ALL by your comment. πŸ™‚

    You said:

    How would you feel about that? If your company discriminate you over what you wear.

    Ummm, I go try to find another job that won’t.

    This Lila Rohila lady has been working in Sogo for 15 years! She would understand by now that no one on the floor in Sogo wears a head scarf. She’s lucky she’s only getting demoted, as compared to the 145 others who do not wear a head scarf are waiting for their pink slips.

    Boy oh boy!

  12. avatar Hassan says:

    Grace and Mercy: “She’s lucky she’s only getting demoted.”

    Surprise, surprise, now we’re supporting discrimination towards women? I hope you only said that because the victims were headscarf wearing Muslims. I reckon you wouldn’t say such supportive tone towards discrimination if the victims were the minority groups or even Christians. πŸ˜‰

    And about the pink slips, if they were issued on the base of performance or company strategies then that’s fine. But when the base was because of what they wear and their belief then that’s plain ol’ discrimination.

    Anyway, the company shouldn’t have said these things, “They told me that if I wanted to continue working here and wear my headscarf I had to work in the back office, which would mean a lower salary”. How about IF your company say those things to you, not because of wearing a headscarf but because something else related to your religion?

  13. avatar Grace and Mercy says:

    Surprise, surprise, now we’re supporting discrimination towards women? I hope you only said that because the victims were headscarf wearing Muslims. I reckon you wouldn’t say such supportive tone towards discrimination if the victims were the minority groups or even Christians

    How about IF your company say those things to you, not because of wearing a headscarf but because something else related to your religion?

    I answered it already. I go find another job. But that’s just how we minorities act I guess. Like you said in your other post “Why make life harder”.

  14. avatar Andrew says:

    Despite her solid work performance, she says, reflected by a 12% raise last year, Indarti was also “asked” to resign.

    How does 12% increase translate to “solid work performance”?

    Maybe Sogo practices discrimination… or maybe not – but it is just lame and pathetic to use your religion to cover your incompetence.

  15. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Grace and Mercy

    For many, looking for another job is not as easy as it sounds, especially for this kind of job. However, no one really knows how this lady really performed, it’s her words against theirs. From what we have seen, read, heard though, it is always easier to blame things on others not ourselves. Or maybe she was just desperate and in panick as she started thinking how she will feed her family, etc.

  16. avatar Grace and Mercy says:

    From what we have seen, read, heard though, it is always easier to blame things on others not ourselves.

    My point exactly. That’s why this issue was turned into something that was not in the beginning.

  17. avatar Ihaknt says:

    GnM, we are all guilty for that…how many discussions have strayed from the original topic? heheheheeh πŸ˜€
    For God’s sake, even the Quran is taken out of context! It’s a way of life. Am I in trouble for saying this?!?!

  18. avatar Hassan says:

    “My point exactly. That’s why this issue was turned into something that was not in the beginning.”

    That is why I tried to point out this statement:
    “They told me that if I wanted to continue working here and wear my headscarf I had to work in the back office, which would mean a lower salary.”

    Which is clearly a blatant act of discrimination. Because some people had placed it out of context by associating it with ‘the blame game’, the ‘tendency to blame others’ cliche.

    Perhaps the first sentence of the article “Sogo department store is accused of sacking women who wear headscarves.” is a bit misleading as well. How about “Some women were discriminated over their headscarves in Sogo”? ‘Some’ is the key word, off course.

    Andrew: “How does 12% increase translate to “solid work performance”?”

    How about if it actually translated into the word ‘cheapskate’, addressed to the Sogo management. πŸ˜€

  19. avatar Andrew says:

    How about if it actually translated into the word ‘cheapskate’, addressed to the Sogo management. πŸ˜€

    …but that’s a different discussion topic, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

  20. […] lagi"Teman : "cepetan apa?"Manda : "Cari CD. dimana sih belinya? Carrefour apa Sogo?"(atau di Planet Surf? mereka jual CD cowok gak c? lucu juga CD cowok motif beach gitu. […]

  21. avatar Danish says:

    I bet Sogo would never discreminate its “headscraf” customers…its too bad if they do.

  22. avatar Bilal says:

    What a hypocritical fallacy. InshAllah when the rule is Islam again, we won’t give kuffar the dignity of having long beards or wearing headscarves. They will have to continue shaving their faces like effeminate men and having their hair out to dry in the sun and become hard like their hearts. Not to mention they’ll have to continue tucking in their shirts and cutting their hair short. Unlike kuffar we force you to expose yourself not try and force us into your assimilation of disbelief. We want you to be exposed for how ridiculous you are for worshipping false idols and your own desires, we are’nt interested in compelling anyone, unlike the supposed greeko/roman democratic “free world” facists, may Allah destroy and debase your way and elevate His Word on this Earth.

  23. avatar Oigal says:

    Bilal..

    “They will have to continue shaving their faces like effeminate men”

    Probably not the country to be making comments on the quality of beard growing, my dear old grandmother shakes out a better quality beard than the average sheet dresser here. If beard growing quality is a pre-condition to Allah’s grace then a lot people have more to worry about than the Kuffar next door.

    It is pleasing to see we are getting down to the nitty gritty of faith tho.

    we are’nt interested in compelling anyone, unlike the supposed greeko/roman democratic β€œfree world” facists, may Allah destroy and debase your way and elevate His Word on this Earth.

    Pleased to hear it, if you could just pass that onto the rest of the clans. It’s always been puzzling to us Kuffar, that if such terrible fate awaits us why on earth do that nutters worry about it so much in the here n now.

    Personally,I am not overly worried, if you guys are right, Allah is probably more pissed at not being able to get a goodnight sleep in a couple of thousand years without some bugger wailing at him than us naughty ones shaving too much.

  24. avatar IslamAgain says:

    I had faced a similar condition about wearing headscarf, but didn’t compromise on hijab that’s why, today i am in peace. I would like to say that don’t compromise when it comes about right and wrong. Choose the right option and have faith on Allah.

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