Paper workers celebrate victories in Indonesia

Jan 31, 2013 

Members of two Indonesian unions, affiliates of IndustriALL through the Federation of Pulp and Paper Workers’ Union (FSP2KI) are celebrating victory in Indonesia.

At the beginning of the year the Kimberly Clark Indonesia Union (SPKCI), a one year old union born on 23 January 2012 and representing workers of PT Kimberly Clark Indonesia in Cikarang, West Java, Indonesia approached their company management with the request to start negotiations over wage increases in 2013.

Unfortunately, the negotiations reached a stalemate and SPKCI announced a three day strike from 28 to 30 January 2013. The union’s decision got strong support of workers both inside and outside the enterprise. The union received solidarity support from the National Union Confederation (KSN) as well as from IndustriALL Global Union and its affiliate, the Swedish Paper Workers’ Union (Pappers).

The employers who initially rejected union claims invited SPKCI representatives back to the negotiating table and agreed to workers’ demands to increase wages by 30 per cent. The union subsequently decided to cancel the strike. Currently SPKCI is preparing to negotiate their first collective bargaining agreement (CBA). One of the key demands of the union, which represents 500 members, of whom 300 are temporary contract workers, is to convert the status of all temporary contract workers to the permanent one.

Another victory is celebrated by the Pindo Deli Paper Workers Union (SPKPD), also an affiliate of IndustriALL through FSP2KI. The union demands regarded fair wages to the workers of the paper company PT. Pindo Deli Mills Karawang located in West Java, Indonesia.

When the negotiations between parties, which lasted from 20 December 2012 to 10 January 2013, came to a deadlock, the union announced a strike from 28 January to 28 February 2013. After the strike notice the company tried to intimidate workers by claiming the strike to be illegal. The company management also employed intimidation tactics against workers, using military and police to thwart the announced strike.

The union solidarity, resistance and commitment eventually paid off, as the employer finally ceded to the SPKPD demands, ending the strike. In their message the Pindo Deli Paper Workers' Union and the Federation of Pulp & Paper Indonesia (FSP2KI) unions send profuse thanks for the support of IndustriALL Global Union, Pappers, Unite the Union, Steel Workers Union and the entire network of the international unions that gave their support to SPKPD and FSP2KI.

©2014 – industriALL