By Abu Mufakhir
Between April and June 2011, Sedane Labour Resource Centre (LIPS) has recorded that at least there were three major strikes taken up by union in mining companies, such as Freeport, Chevron, Pertamina, and Leighton Contractor Indonesia (LCI). The strike in Freeport has killed at least 3 workers while thousands of workers demanded wage increase and the elimination of the discrimination between Indonesian and foreign workers.
Meanwhile on 20 April 2011, there were 190 outsourced security guard workers working in various Chevrons’ plantations took up a strike demanding the assurance of their work contract, food allowance of $1 per day, and transport/other allowances of $1.5 per day. Like many other workers, Chevron’s workers are working for 12 hours a day without overtime pay. The company always turn away the demands to its sub-contractor PT Jaya Sakti Mandiri Utama.
The day after on April 21st, more than 1,000 coal mining workers in Tanah Laut District, South Borneo, took up a similar strike by blocking the road to the mining sites. They demanded the management to increase a food and housing allowance. In the meantime, hundreds of PT Pertamina Oil workers took up a an action to protest against foreign ownership over the management of West Madura Offshore (WMO) gas and oil which produce 30,000 barrels of oil per day. Labour union of Pertamina has sent an open letter to the president, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Natural Gas, and related institutions to demand that the management of WMO should be fully managed by PT Pertamina.
Social security: a tricky issue
In Greater Jakarta, labour resistance has taken place for the issue of social security. On 16 to 20 June 2011, more than 300 workers from The Social Security Action Committee (KAJS) marched on foot from Bandung to Jakarta, travelled along 250 km for 5 days. The long march action was demanded the adoption of Social Security Administering Body Bill. Since 2009 the demand to implement National Social Security System Law (UU SJSN) No 40 2004 continue to arise. KAJS is an alliance of labour unions, students, farmers, and NGOs that demanded government to implement social security law, and to pass the Social Security Administering Body Bill. Between April and May, KAJS in several major cities including Jakarta, Bekasi, Surabaya, and Batam mobilised protests engaging significant number of workers. In Cikarang, the workers have blocked highway for a couple of hours.
However, other group raised a concern that the National Social Security System Law as well as Social Security Administering Body Law will give a way for private insurance firms to control and privatise the social protection. Furthermore, there will be legitimacy for the administering body to speculate the social security fund by re-investing the money into hedge-fund and the likes. Many of workers and general public have not been aware of this concern. There is a need for social movement to pay more attention on this tricky issue.
Abu Mufakhir, Sedane Labour Resource Centre (LIPS), Bogor, Indonesia