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Indonesia: 363 workers suspended for demanding an end to precarious contracts

30 April, 2014At the World Energy Conference IndustriALL Global Union affiliates adopted a resolution to push for the reinstatement of 363 precarious workers into permanent employment at the Indonesian state owned company Pertamina in Aceh.

In 2008, 500 workers at Pertamina formed a union affiliated to the Federation of Mining and Energy (FPE-SBSI). With increased knowledge on the Indonesian labour law and the ILO Decent Work Agenda, workers and the FPE-SBSI demanded that they be moved from precarious employment to permanent workers. Some of the workers had worked at Pertamina for more than 20 years.

The Aceh Industrial Court supported the demand and ruled that Pertamina should give the workers permanent contracts. Ignoring this decision, Pertamina brought the case to the Supreme Court in Jakarta in an attempt to nullify the verdict and simultaneously suspended the 363 workers indefinitely.

The result of this suspension has been dramatic for some workers and their families. Four workers have died as they were denied medical care facilities, and many young children have been forced to leave school, as their parents can’t afford it.  

Together with the IndustriALL National Council in Indonesia, the FPE campaigned at the Indonesian Parliament. In October last year the campaign resulted in 12 recommendations concerning employment in state owned companies (SOCs):

1.              SOC Minister is obliged to respect this decision

2.              To eliminate all types of outsourcing in all SOCs     

3.              It is prohibited for all SOC to intimidate the unions and its members in SOC

4.              No termination of employment because of this decision

5.              SOC should pay all the rights of workers that already have been dismissed

6.              All workers under the process of termination of employment should be reinstated

7.              SOC should pay the salary for workers under the process of employment termination

8.              Normative rights should be respected

9.              SOC director cannot use the SOC budget for dispute settlement

10.           Request to the Labour Department and Police to follow-up violation of labour law in SOC

11.           These recommendations should be effective 15 days since the decision was taken on 22 October 2013

12.           IX Commission will set up Working Committee with Labour Minister and Representatives of Unions

IndustriALL Global Union continues the fight to end precarious working conditions and to ensure strict limits on the use of precarious work. IndustriALL strongly encourage its affiliates to send letters of solidarity to support the struggling workers to engage Pertamina in a meaningful dialogue with the FPE-SBSI.

With 1 May approaching, remember to mobilize your members and join the global fight to STOP Precarious Work!