Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Update on Strikes of Fuel Tank Drivers and Workers at PT CGS

The 1,000 fuel tank drivers, employed by Pertamina Patra Niaga (PPN), are now into their third week of strike action in Jakarta. The company is stubbornly refusing to meet their demands concerning working conditions and pay. The workers want their hours limited to 40 hours per week, particularly in order to decrease the risk of road accidents. They also want their overtime paid, and to be made permanent (some have been on short-term contracts for 12 years!). 

Photo from day 10 of fuel tank drivers' strike
The drivers have sought to make their strike successful by blocking entrances to the truck depot, but they have faced repression from police and military. The company has also tried to replace drivers with scab labour, and already this has resulted in road accidents.

The drivers have received solidarity and support both from other unions within Indonesia, but also overseas. Today the Maritime Union of Australia held a rally outside the Indonesian consulate in Sydney in support of the drivers and their union FBTPI. 

MUA demo outside Indonesian consulate in Sydney 16 November 2016
Manufacturing workers in Bekasi are also continuing their strike. Around 90 workers, employed by PT CGS, have been on strike since 26 October this year. They are paid only 70,000 Rp. per day (roughly $7 a day), which is well below the minimum wage. Angry at their low pay, the workers joined the union SGBN back in August. But since then, management at PT CGS has refused to meet with the workers, and instead hired thugs to intimidate and threaten the workers. The company then fired the 10 union leaders in a classic case of union busting.

Workers at PT CGS on strike
But the strike action has proved successful. The workers have already got an agreement from management that the union leaders that were fired will be reinstated and that the workers will be paid the minimum wage from 2017. The strike will continue though until all their demands are met.  

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