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Indonesian paper workers fighting for their jobs

12 June, 2020Management of the large pulp and paper company PT Tanjungenim Lestari is facing international outcry for allowing union busting of its workforce. The unionized handlers have worked for up to 20 years loading pulp and paper at different stages along the production line.

The workers at PT Tanjungenim Lestari’s site in Tarahan Bandar Lampung, Indonesia are members of the Tarahan Tuks Telecommunications Union, a member union of the Indonesian Federation of Pulp and Paper Trade Unions (FSP2KI). Despite being in their jobs at the same site for up to 20 years, the workers’ direct employer has been an outsourced company.
The service was first outsourced in 2000 to PT Dwi Daya Sentra Prakasa (PT DDSP), then since 2010 to another company, PT Kaliguma Transindo. The outsourced contractor changed, but the workers remained doing their work, as well as their union activities.
Earlier this month, the contract for this activity was taken over by a third company called PT Kamigumi. The union demand, supported by IndustriALL Global Union, is that the full team remains employed, with their contract transferred to the new service provider.


If this does not happen, it will clearly be a case of union busting, with the employer using the opportunity to make new hires without union representation. The workers are picketing the site, demanding their jobs back. The demand is even more urgent in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Writing to PT Tanjungenim Lestari, IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says:

“Regardless of which outsourcing company pays their wages, after twenty years of service at your site, this group of people deserve respect and employment stability to be assured by your management. This is an international standard and understanding.”

Writing to PT Kamigumi Indonesia, general secretary Sanches says:

“We expect your management to respect these workers’ right to continue in their employment.”

And general secretary Sanches’ message to the FSP2KI is:

“Stay strong, stay united, and know that your union sisters and brothers in many countries are cheering for you until you win the job security that your members deserve.”

The FSP2KI has 15,000 members in pulp and paper industry trade unions in the Provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bandar Lampung, West Java and Kalimantan. FSP2KI is a member of IndustriALL’s Pulp and Paper Sector Work Group.