Tag Archives: labor dispute

Nanbu Employees Being Rehired, But Contractual Status Remains Unclear

Workers protest against contractual employment. Photo: Metaruang

A total of 28 workers of PT. Nanbu Plastics Indonesia (NPI) which were laid off in early April has recently been reinstated. Furthermore, the company has also paid off all outstanding unpaid salary and end-of-Ramadhan allowance (Tunjangan Hari Raya/ THR).

This was conveyed by the president of the labor union SEBUMI Faisal Al Rahmad. “All unilaterally dismissed (labors) are working again. Salaries, THR, have been paid,” said Faisal via text message on Thursday, July 5, 2018.

This decision is the result of a mediation between management, the union and Municipal Representative of the Manpower Ministry (Disnaker). In a joint agreement signed by the union on Friday, June 8, 2018, it was stated that the company should reinstate all laid-off workers.

Faisal added that 28 workers have started working again at PT. NPI since Saturday, July 2, 2018. The 28 workers re-employed include a pregnant mother.

However, this re-employment agreement does not apply to a worker named Azuhrotul, whom the company deems to have resigned. The company claimed to have summoned him up to 3 (three) times, but he did not come. But on the contrary, Azuhrotul claims to not receive an invitation letter from the company (via JNE’s expedition service) or any other party.

A check on JNE shows the first letter’s status as ‘return’ – which means that it did not get through the recipient, and thus returned to the sender.  The second letter instead was shown to be accepted by someone named Retno, not Azuhrotul. Lastly, the third one was again listed as ‘return’. Of course, such correspondence does not meet the provisions of Article 168 of Indonesian Labor Law no. 13 of 2003, concerning the invitation of workers by companies related to resignation.

Moreover, the said unpaid salary which the company have promised to pay is still uncertain in term of its details. Until now, they have not received any wage slip. This also obviously applies to Azuhrotul.

 

Atika’s medical expenses are borne by the company

After the letter of agreement was signed, PT. NPI also contacted Atika Nafitasari, a worker of PT. NPI who suffered an accident and was laid off in January 2018. To Atika, the company stated that they would be willing to take responsibility and bear all medical expenses due to said work accident experienced by Atika until she recovered.

“[The company] told me, that [they] want to pay for the treatment,” Atika said.

Atika is a victim of a work accident involving a press machine that makes the middle finger of her right hand cut off, on Monday, September 26, 2016. Allegedly, the condition of the press machine was not optimal, but the management ignored it and still ordered workers to keep working it.

 

The issue of contractual status (Perjanjian Kerja Waktu Tertentu/PKWT) remains unclear

Unfortunately, PT. NPI is still reluctant to settle the case of the employment agreement for a definite period of time (PKWT)—or in another term is contractual employment. To date, the company still refuses to reinstate Atika and eight other interns, as well as hiring them to be permanent employees.

The case concerning the PKWT should refer to the subject issued on 28 May 2018, which recommends that the status of the 7 PKWTs of their status be changed to an employment agreement for an indefinite period of time (PKWTT). However, until now the recommendation has not been acted upon by the company. In fact, one party from HRD claimed that he rejected the recommendations from Disnaker to change the employment status to permanent

In fact, Atika and other 7 contractual workers work in a continuous and fixed job. Under the terms of Article 59 of Indonesian Labor Law and Regulation of Manpower Ministry no. 100 of 2004, they should be appointed as permanent employees from the beginning. Hiring them as apprentices is unlawful. Until the report is revealed, the workers with the status PKWT have not paid their wages.

Faisal stressed that they will continue to fight for cases of violation of this PKWT through litigation and non-litigation. “We will continue to fight until [case] PKWT is solved,” said Faisal.

Indeed, this success is the fruit of SEBUMI’s continuous struggle to consistently demand the company to stop misappropriation and unfair conduct of its own workers. “It’s the result of our action,” Atika said.

Previously, dozens of workers working at PT. The NPI was laid off after a protest. This protest action was conducted in response to the breach of PKWT provisions by the company.

Those affected by the layoffs are also workers who are members of SEBUMI and actively advocating their fellow workers at PT. NPI receiving arbitrary treatment from the company, such as the negligence of the company in dealing with accidents, forced overtime, to non-compliant work facilities.

 

Source: http://metaruang.com/buruh-nanbu-dipekerjakan-kembali-status-pkwt-belum-jelas/

Translator: Yanuar Farhanditya

Editor: Rizal Assalam

Early 2018 Victory: Cleaning Workers Won Their Struggle

We come to thump at the door
Not to beg you for something
We come to thump at the door
In order to remind you
“Bang, Bang, Bang”
We can move away the rubbish
And also the boss of ‘Man Shun’”

— Hoi Lai Estate cleaning workers’ poem

After 10 days went on strike, the Hoi Lai Estate cleaning workers finally win their fight. Man Shun, the company which employed the workers, agreed to fulfil its obligation for severance pay. With the support of the community and various organizations, the cleaning workers will get HKD 1,200 severance pay for each year they were employed, according to local media InMedia.

The dispute between the workers and the employer began when company’s contract with Hong Kong Housing Department over Cheung Sha Wan’s Hoi Lai Estate ended last year. As the contract ended, the workers were tricked by the company to sign voluntary resignation in October 2017 without any compensation.

Despite long tenures, the company denied the obligation to pay the workers their right to severance pay. Rather, Man Shun offered the workers to be re-employed by Hong Kong Commercial Cleaning—which appears has a close ownership connection—regardless of the previous tenure with only HKD 11 pay rise.

The company denial of workers’ right has made the cleaning workers furious. Refuse to be disrespected, the workers decided to determine their own fate. They went on strike and vowed to continue until they win their right.

Cleaning workers went on strike in front of Hong Kong Housing Authority Headquarters at Ho Man Tin, Kowloon City, Hong Kong on Thursday (04/01)

 

During the strike on 4 January, the workers alleged that the authority should take responsibility for resolving the problem given the Housing Department has funded the contractor. “Housing authority should take responsibility. We demand the housing authority to come and meet us,” said one of the protesters who declined to be identified.

Most of the dozens cleaning workers who went on strike are old-aged women workers with 7-9 years tenures. One of the interviewed workers said that her monthly salary is only HKD 8,600. “My earning is not sufficient to have a decent living.”

Cleaning workers showing a demand poster for unpaid severance pay in the previous strike (04/01)

Cleaning tasks are often underestimated, although the routines are heavy tasks, especially for the old-aged women workers. Some of the workers’ routines are cleaning the toilet, the floor, and the ceiling. The company provides less working tools, as the workers need to mix the limited cleaning liquid with water or even search for cleaners in the trash bin.

Every single day, the cleaning workers have to collect and dump trash from 400 flats in 40 floors estate. This task has to be finished within working hours. Otherwise, the workers have to do the unpaid overtime.

Another task is handling the large garbage such furniture and home appliances—which is done only by 80 years old workers. The workers also have to manage the bulk trash that vulnerable to accidents.

Such domestic task which is done by the cleaning workers—also domestic workers elsewhere—is one of the major issues under capitalism. Taking care of the households, which construct as the main role of women in the patriarchal biased society, are often underpaid—or rather, unpaid—and regarded as unskilled labor.

This view is problematic given the domestic task serves a critical role in the society: that is the social reproduction of labor. In this sense, the domestic tasks made it possible for the working class to maintain their labor power and to recover from fatigue. Hence, the domestic task is an integral part of the economic development—and also subject to capitalist surplus value appropriation.

The invisibility of the cleaning workers become one of the factors of the wide support. “We should appreciate the cleaning workers. The community will be dirty without being cared by the cleaning workers,” said Lau Siu-Lai, one of the disqualified legislator during her solidarity speech in the celebration of workers’ victory at the Hoi Lai Estate, on Saturday (06/01).

With the workers’ determination and wide support, the company finally gave up. From the initial HKD 200 severance offer—which obviously was refused—the company will pay HKD 1,200 severance for each one year of service. The cleaning workers also will also receive a raise of HKD 172 salary which was initially offered only HKD 11.

Supporters from various local organizations and countries—Poland, Indonesia and Philippine—came to congratulate the workers over the victory. Since in the very beginning, various organization—trade unions, local community, political party, sympathizer, student groups and NGOs—helped the workers to organize the resistance.

Experiencing their own cases, the cleaning workers found themselves empowered. One of the workers delivered her testimony, said that ‘I feel empowered. I am now encouraged to be brave.” The supporters followed with chanting joyfully.

Through their experience, the cleaning workers also learned about the importance of solidarity. ‘I was amazed when I saw many people contributed to the fundraising. Also when I joined New Year’s Day pro-democracy protest, I was touched that many people sympathy on our struggle,” said another worker during her testimony.

Denny To reminded the workers and all of the supporters that there is still a long struggle for the better living condition of working class. “The end of the strike is the start of the movement for the workers who are still being exploited,” said Denny To who is one of the organizers of Cleaning Service Industry Workers Union.

 

Contributor: Rizal Assalam

Editor: Muh. Ridha

 

*Credit to Fifi (Chinese University of Hong Kong Grassroots Concern Group), Rena Lau (Globalization Monitor) and Fei (Workers’ News) who provided the valuable information

Source: http://ksn.or.id/early-2018-victory-cleaning-workers-won-their-struggle/?lang=en