May Day 2020 Celebrations Amidst Corona Virus Pandemic

Hundreds FSEDAR members in small groups took part in May Day 2020 celebrations by raising posters and banners in front of factories, including PT. HRS Indonesia, PT. Ichikoh Indonesia, PT. Nanbu Plastics Indonesia, PT. Yamaha, PT. Hitachi Construction Machine, PT. Kawasaki and AICE plant of PT. Alpen Food Industry. The importance of this action is preparing ourselves fighting and going strike for defending our lives.

FSEDAR’s actions photos are updated on Facebook:

The actions also performed by other red unions, such KASBI dan FPBI. The FPBI workers tried to approach House of Representative to make protest, but intercepted by police. FSEDAR’s effort to put our banners up on the House’s gate was also was not allowed by the police. The authority really used the pandemic as an excuse preventing protests.

Meanwhile, the workers are still obliged to work by employers which gained working permits from Ministry of Industry. More than 14,500 companies, especially in manufacturing industry get the permit, despite the government has ordered large-scale social restrictions, including dismissing workers for temporary. This inconsistent policy threats the workers’ lives as new cases of Covid-19 are growing as factory clusters. Two workers of PT HM Sampoerna Tbk died and 63 workers got positive test for Covid-19 in Surabaya, East Java. Recently, two workers of MM2100 industrial zone were reported positive for Covid-19 in Bekasi, West Java. And also reported as positive for corona virus were a worker of PT Masterindo Jaya Abadi in Bandung and 51 workers of Freeport in West Papua.

In Central Halmahera, North Maluku, thousands workers of PT. Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (PT. IWIP), a nickel mining company, took protest against the employer and the yellow union, SPSI. As the result, a riot broke out with the workers burned a plant canteen (mess hall) down and 11 workers were arrested by the police for looting and damage property.

Initially, the workers who did not trust with SPSI, the yellow union, wanted declaring an alternative organisation named Forum Perjuangan Buruh (FPB) (workers struggle forum). They considered SPSI as the “company’s minion” and refused wage deductions Rp30,000 ($2) monthly for SPSI’s membership fees.

The workers’ demands were including:

  • Reduction of working hours from 12 to 8.
  • Fulfilling maternity rights and occupational safety and health
  • Rejecting Omnibus bill (Job Creation Bill).
  • Lockdown with basic wages amidst the pandemic.
  • Rejecting termination of employment by masked a pause.
  • No discrimination against foreign workers.
  • Negotiation with the employer representatives openly.
  • SPSI must return all of membership fees

The FPB’s coordinator, Meilani, stated the riot started from the company’s security guards threw stones at the workers who threw stones back at the security guards to defend themselves.

Source:

  • https://fsedar.org/kliping-media/peringati-hari-buruh-di-tengah-pandemi-buruh-bentangkan-tuntutan-di-depan-pabrik/
  • https://solidaritas.net/di-balik-aksi-pembakaran-pt-iwip-saat-peringati-may-day-2020/

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