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Protesting paper workers in Indonesia brutally dispersed by police

12 August, 2020In the early morning of 8 August 2020, the Indonesian police brutally dispersed 50 members of the Federation of Indonesian Pulp and Paper Workers Union (FSP2KI) who were carrying out a blockade in front of PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper (PTTEL) in Lampung Province.

FSP2KI strongly criticized the actions of the 120 police officers, who assaulted and beat union members. Several women union members were sexually harassed by police officers during the dispersal.

The workers had been taking action in front of the company gates for 65 days in solidarity with 38 members whose work contracts were discontinued by the outsourcing company PT. Kaliguma Transindo, when PTTEL ended the contract, and appointed PT Kamigumi Indonesia as the new outsourcing company.

They demand that the new outsourcing company rehires all the workers who were formerly employed by PT Kaliguma Transindo.

Tom Grinter, IndustriALL director for the pulp and paper sector, said:

“We condemn the violence and harassment of our members at PTTEL, who were exercising their right to peaceful assembly when they were attacked. We urge PTTEL and the Ministry of Manpower to intervene in the dispute and ensure that all 38 workers are rehired.”

IndustriALL Southeast Asia regional secretary Annie Adviento said:

“PTTEL must behave in a socially responsible manner because workers have been working at the site for 20 years. To cut these jobs at a time of Covid-19 pandemic is shameful.

“According to ILO, the number of precarious workers in Indonesia increased rapidly from 6 million in 2001 to 11 million in 2010. The government must reform labour laws to impede labour flexibility. PTTEL should gradually absorb its employees as permanent employees.”

FSP2KI secretary general M. Fatkuroji added:

“The failure of PT Kamigumi Indonesia to reinstate former PT Kaliguma Transindo employees violates the Regulation of the Minister of Manpower Number 19 of 2012 and Regulation Number 101 of 2004, which stipulates that a new outsourcing company must accept workers from the previous outsourcing company, as long as the same type of work remains with the employing company.

“Furthermore, Article 27 of the 1945 Constitution and Decree of the Constitutional Court 2011 guarantees the rights of citizens to a decent job and livelihood. It is the government’s obligation towards citizens for humanity.”