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Labour Activists Criminalised!

Solidarity Urgently Needed!

Monday 4 February 2013, by Rakyat Pekerja

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Sulthoni Farras is a worker that became a victim of layoffs at a company in the capital city of Jakarta when the crisis hit in 1998. Despite this, he continued with the struggle by building the cross-sector union that later became the union Federation Progresip under the confederation KASBI.

Sulthoni also encouraged unity of workers and at the time took part in the uniting of unions in the alliance Aliansi Buruh Menggugat (ABM) and became the coordinator of ABM in the larger Jakarta region. This unity is now embodied in the development of the Greater Jakarta Workers Joint Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) in which Sulthoni is a presiding member. In 2009 Sulthoni Farras also received a legal aid award, awarded to those that consistently struggle for human rights, including the rights of workers.

True liberation of the working class is not possible without a political struggle and a the establishment of a political party for the working class. Because of this belief, Sulthoni joined the Working Peoples Association that later developed and led to the formation of KPO PRP. Sultoni sits on the national committee of KPO PRP.

One of the struggles that Sulthoni was active in and that led to the criminalisation, was the liberation of PT Dongan workers from the system of contract work and wage theft by the owner of PT Dongan, Park Jung Sik.

PT Dongan employs approximately a thousand workers, mostly women. The plant produces quality wigs for export. Before establishing a union, the workers of PT Dongan were like slaves. Their employment status was unclear despite several years of work at the plant. They were still considered contract workers despite having worked there for between four and ten years. Their wages were always being cut for various reasons, such as for transport and catering. Meanwhile, the government through the Department of Labour, shut their eyes to what was happening.\

Amid the rising labour movement in Indonesia, workers at PT Dongan became increasingly aware of their rights and power. Starting slowly but surely, the workers at PT Dongan began to consolidate. At first, only dozens of workers met to discuss their rights and the possibility of forming a union, until finally a conference was held and attended by the majority of workers of PT Dongan.

After the conference that established a union, the threats began to haunt them. The company planned to get rid of all workers on contracts. This troubled, and then made the workers angry. The threats continued, even though the workers had been employed there for years. Triggered by the intimidation the workers of PT Dongan became active and forced the company to meet all their basic rights and also make all contract workers permanent workers.

On the 7th of September, 2012 negotiations between the workers and PT Dongan took place going until 9:30pm. From those negotiations it was agreed that all rights (maternity leave, an end to wage cutting for transport and food, provision of food and drink and so on) would be provided). A joint agreement was also decided upon by both sides. (For Chronology of PT Dongan Workers Struggle see: http://www.rakyatpekerja.org/chronology-of-pt-dongan-workers-struggle/)

However, in the development of the company PT Dongan, the company has responded by denying these agreements and criminalising the active union workers of PT Dongan. Sulthoni Farras was then determined as a suspect in line with article 335 KUHP, misconduct, by the Bekasi police.

January 26, 2013

Please send pressure to:

Kapolresta Bekasi, Drs Isnaeni MSI: +62 817245622

Kabid Humas Polda Metro Jaya, Kombes Rikwanto: +62 8164266366

DPRD Bekasi Komisi Ketenagakerjaan, Warja :+62 81311110109

Wave of retaliation and criminalization by the bosses toward workers struggle is happening in other part of Indonesia. Send your data, profile and chronology of the bosses retaliation and criminalization toward workers struggle to: kpo.prp@rakyatpekerja.org

Send your solidarity statement to: kpo.prp@rakyatpekerja.org

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