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FSP2KI struggle wins gains for Indonesian contract workers

5 April, 2017IndustriALL Global Union's affiliate in Indonesia, FSP2KI, has continued its strong record of organizing contract paper workers with a successful struggle in South Sumatra.

A major pulp mill, the PT Tanjungenim Lestari makes high quality bleached hardwood pulp from the acacia mangium tree, grown in plantations.

Since November 2016, paper workers' union, FSP2KI, has represented 55 workers at a contractor company that handles and transports the raw material used to make the pulp. The Wira Putra Pratama Company (WPP) operates at the mill’s logging yard.

The truck drivers and heavy machine operators were working under employment conditions lower than the legal minimum, but the employer was forced to make improvements to avert a strike on 13 March.

The WPP management refused to negotiate on the key worker demands of legal minimum wages, overtime payments, company supplied uniform and safety equipment, and a collective agreement.

However, with the support of the national FSP2KI union and other FSP2KI-organized workers at the mill, a three-day strike was announced for 14-16 March.

Settlement avoided the strike on 13 March through dialogue that included the top management of the mill, as well as the contractor. In line with the agreement, WPP will pay at least the minimum regional salary as well as overtime for any work over eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. Workers will also receive outstanding back pay. In addition, the employer has committed to sustainable employment for the workers and will begin good faith bargaining towards a collective agreement immediately.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary, Kemal Özkan, said:

IndustriALL salutes the good work of its active affiliate FSP2KI, which will improve workers’ pay packages and, importantly, lays good foundations for negotiating with the company in the future.

The full global trade union network of pulp and paper unions has mourned the passing of FSP2KI General Secretary Ikhsan Prajarani in a road accident on 11 February. Brother Noprizal was elected to replace Brother Ikhsan on 19 March and will play a key role in IndustriALL activities in the sector.

When the strike was cancelled, the membership held a vigil at Brother Ikhsan’s grave instead of holding the strike picket.