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Indonesian shoe and accessory workers picket for unpaid wages

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23 July, 2019One hundred Indonesian workers are picketing in front of PT Mikwang Prima Indo (MPI) since the abrupt shut down of the shoe and accessory factory in February.

The employer Kim Seong Rok failed to provide any severance payment for affected workers, and suspended payment of statutory minimum wages from 2013 to 2019.

Currently, the Indonesian police have put the South Korean investor under the wanted persons list. According to members of the National Industrial Workers Union Federation (SPN) in the factory, Kim has disappeared since November 2018.

SPN filed a complaint in court and obtained a judgement which allowed SPN to seal the factory and sell the assets to pay the workers’ severance package.

Concerned that the assets could be stolen, the workers take turns at the picket booth for 24 hours in order to monitor the movement of trucks at the factory premises.

“Even though we can successfully sell the machines and equipment of MPI, the rough estimation of the value is only US $ 214,000 (RP 3 billion), which is far from our target Rp US $ 859,000 (RP 12 billion). It is unfair for the workers”

Said Ardi Kurniawan, the chairman of SPN Tangerang district.

“Many working families face an extremely difficult situation after the closure of the factory. They are unable to pay housing loans and school expenses for children, several members even divorced from their spouses because of loss of income,”

Said Sanusi, the chief of SPN at MPI.

SPN is negotiating with MPI customers, PT Parkland World Indonesia (PWI), for a humanitarian fund with an amount of US $ 114,000 (RP 1.6 billion). PWI had previously paid the owed February wages to workers in good faith on behalf of MPI.

Regional secretary of IndustriALL South East Asia office, Annie Adviento, said the affected workers have a right to demand a severance payment and the shortfall in thestatutory minimum wage in the last seven years. IndustriALL pledges solidarity with MPI workers and calls upon the relevant parties to solve the dispute.