Continue Struggle with Physical Distancing amid the Pandemic

The government used the corona pandemic as a reason to limit freedom of expression, including ban on demonstrations and strikes. At the same time, the House of Representatives keep continued deliberating RKUHP (criminal law bill) and Omnibus Bill on Job Creation. Legalisation of both bills, if it happens, will impact to narrow the field of democracy, lowering wages, erasing job security and worsening workers’ working conditions.

The mass of protest wore masks, rain coats as protection gown and keep physical distancing each others.

We held our protest in front of some factories on April 2nd, 2020. The protest is a joint action of workers who suffered from labour rights violations. They demanded responsibilities against Hitachi, Keihin, Trimitra (Kuroda) and Multistrada (Michelin).

The workers also campaigned rejecting Omnibus Bill on Job Creation which will legalize the suffering as they have experienced. The companies used irregular workers (such as contractual and apprenticeship workers) that are no accordance with the standards as regulated in the Manpower Act No. 13/2003. That is why the irregular workers should refuse the Omnibus Bill since it will drop their opportunities to become regular workers.

The following day, hundreds of AICE ice cream workers performed a protest action with physical distancing in front of PT Alpen Food Industry factory, Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java. The workers protested the employer who stopped paying health insurance contributions as regulated of Article 27 subsection (3) President Decree No. 82/2018 on health insurance and have not paid the striking workers’ wages since February 21st, 2020. The strike was coming by failed wage negotiations which was happening since 2018 and worse working conditions as there have been 21 miscarriages since last year.

Police officers came to announce a warning in our union secretariat and calling for our union officials to questioned. The police use government regulations on large-scale social restrictions that prohibit crowds, including protest actions, demonstrations and strikes. Our four officials questioned for about 18 hours from 14.30 to 11.00 Am of the next day at the police station of West Cikarang subdistrict.

Our protest also take place on social media with hash tags:

#BoikotAICE

#TolakKerasOmnibusLaw

#FSEDARTolakOmnibusLaw

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