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Indonesian union FSPMI condemns illegal dismissal at ceramic company PT Jui Shin

25 September, 2020The Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers' Union (FSPMI) condemns the illegal dismissal of 197 workers from PT Jui Shin Indonesia. The union demands that the company respect labour law and reinstate all workers with full back pay.

In May 2020, PT Jui Shin Indonesia (PTJSI), a ceramic tile company located in North Sumatra province, informed workers about dismissals due to reduced profit during the Covid-19 pandemic. The unilateral dismissals violate Manpower Act No. 13 of 2003, which clearly states that a bipartite negotiation with trade union must be held before any dismissal.

To protest the company’s refusal to negotiate, workers went on strike on 11 May. In retaliation a few days later, the company dismissed 197 workers, including all local committee members of FSPMI.

The local and provincial-level union lodged complaints with the district labour department of North Sumatra. They criticized the labour department for failing to respond to workers’ demands.

Workers and their union organized a number of protest actions, including one on 12 September, when 30 workers dismissed by PTJSI organized a “sleep-in” protest at the industrial zone near the company location. The action sent a message that the labour law was dead.

FSPMI president Said Iqbal says :

“We demand the Minister of Manpower to visit the workers and resolve the dispute. The government must enforce the labour law and take stern action against PTJSI. It is a fact that Covid-19 has emboldened employers to break laws and bust unions.

“Since February, as many as 3,121 FSPMI members have been terminated, around ten thousand were furloughed without being paid or partially paid or discontinued their contracts. This is an acute job crisis. That’s why we ask the government to focus on the issue of mass dismissal rather than Omnibus bill.”

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL Global Union general secretary, wrote to the company, saying:

“We are outraged to learn that your company refused to go through the legally required preliminary bipartite negotiation with the FSPMI local union and unilaterally dismissed 197 workers in May 2020. This is a blatant violation of the Manpower Act No. 13 from 2003 and is also a serious breach of the rule of law in Indonesia.

“We urge PT Jui Shin Indonesia to immediately reinstate the 197 workers dismissed in May 2020 with all back pay, benefits and seniority.”