Indonesia: organizing and educating workers is key

29.04.2015

Precarious work in a major issue in the Indonesian pulp and paper industry, unions insist that organizing and educating workers is key!

IndustriALL affiliate, the Indonesian Federation of Pulp and Paper Workers Union (FSP2KI) held their 4th Congress on 17-19 April 2015 in Jakarta. The union reinforced their policy to continue unionizing contract and outsourced workers in the pulp and paper industry.

100 union delegates travelled from Sumatera Selatan, Riau, Jambi and West Java to attend the Congress.  There were also international guests from IndustriALL’s Swedish affiliate PAPPERS.      

The Congress delegates voted in favour of the federation’s policy to start a collective bargaining campaign towards industry based and company group Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs).   

The FSP2KI’s CBA policy is aimed at tackling the growing issue of precarious work in the pulp and paper industry. Their policy is also aimed at promoting sustainable industrial policy.

Contract and outsourced workers, mostly women, employed to do sorting, packing, as well as in the seeding and plantation of eucalyptus trees that feed into the pulp and paper industry, will be unionized by the FSP2KI.     

Many of these women workers though working in the pulp and paper industry are earning very low salary and we need to fight for their living wage and participation in the trade union movement,

said Hamdani, FSP2KI President.   

Since 2005, the FSP2KI has been educating union members and raising awareness on precarious and contract labour issues. The educational activities organized by the FSP2KI have seen good participation by both regular and contract workers who often come to the union office after working hours to discuss, share and learn from one another about union organizing and collective bargaining.

At present, contract and outsourced workers at Tanjung Enim Lestari, RAPP (APRIL Group), Kimberly Clark and APP have joined the trade union, owing to the organizing and education work of FSP2KI,

said Khamid Istakhori, FSP2KI Education Officer.   

Maintenance workers of Tanjung Enim Lestari who have organized a union known as ‘United Workers and Care Services TEL’ (SP3-TEL) affiliated to FSP2KI, and are currently negotiating collective agreements involving both Truba Jaya Engineering, the company that supplies maintenance workers, and Tanjung Enim Lestari, the principal company, management.   

This is our first CBA negotiation for maintenance workers; many of us haveworked at Tanjung Enim Lestari for many years servicing the pulp and paper mill,

said Ikhsan Prajarani, the newly elected FSP2KI General Secretary.  

The FSP2KI Congress also endorsed the policy of 40 per cent women participation in union activities.