Herli Sanopa, secretary of the Contracting Workers’ Union (SPK), organizing outsourced workers at PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper, and affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union through the Indonesia Federation of Pulp and Paper Workers Union (FSP2KI), said,
“Unions tried to engage in dialogue with the outsourcing companies and PT. Tanjungenim Lestari, but we faced a deadlock. Therefore, demonstrations will continue to take place until all workers are reinstated.”
The union leader also added that actions already took place on 8 and 16 October and are planned for 25 and 29 October. The 16 October demonstration and picket was suspended by workers when the company accepted to negotiate with the union, however no agreement was reached during four hours of talks. Therefore the rallies will continue as scheduled.
All the workers were dismissed by two companies, PT. Mayapada Clinic Pratama and Fajar Muara Indah PT., both service providers to PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper. The sackings are punishment for their participation in a successful strike in June which was strongly supported by IndustriALL. These 12 reprisal dismissals are a direct violation of strike settlement agreement that included the clause on no reprisals against workers who participated in the strike on 13-14 June earlier this year.
The strike at one of Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper mills saw five hundred outsourced workers go on a two-day strike in two locations in South Sumatera Province and Lampung Province. All the workers were employed by five different outsourcing firms supplying labour to PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper operations. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper employs around 2,500 workers of which more than 1,700 are employed at outsourcing firms.
Following two days of strike, on 14 June unions on one side and outsourcing companies and Tanjungenim Lestari management on the other, reached an agreement guaranteeing improved working conditions and continuity of permanent work among others. The clause of non-retaliation was also part of it.
Valter Sanches, in his 16 October letter to the President-Director of PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper said,
“IndustriALL Global Union urges PT.Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper, as the principal company, to guarantee the full implementation of the agreement from 14 June, and, in consequence, ensure the reinstatement of the 12 workers at PT. Mayapada Clinic Pratama and Fajar Muara Indah.”
Sanches also called on the company “to act promptly to redress these serious violations of fundamental workers’ rights.”