On the 9th of December 1998, nine workers were about to be dismissed for no clear reason. After their refusal to accept the dismissal the company placed them in a section which utilized old unused and rusty machines (they called "Manual Machine" section). These workers were not allowed to talk, to turn their heads and had to carefully arrange 200 layers of thread on the machine for each piece of cloth. Every day they were targetted to finish 70 pieces of cloth which meant that they had to count and arrange 14,000 layers of thread without stopping. An 80 watt lamp was placed very low above their heads (about 20 inch) emitting intense heat. Workers from this section have complained of headaches, leg and back pain, stiffness in their arms. Some were also getting their menstruation twice a month. Because of these conditions and the fact that the product is only piled up in storage for extended periods of time, twelve out of 20 workers have eventually resigned out of their own accord.
This and other company violations have caused the workers to initiate protest actions. On March 31st, 1999 the workers went on strike and workers representatives brought up ten demands to the company, namely the shutting down of the "manual machine" section; a 50% wage increase (at that time the basic salary is Rp. 159,000,-, around USD. 19.00/month in average); easy procedure for menstruation leave; the termination of arbitrary dismissals and transfers to other sections; transportation allowance; probation period of not more than three months; increase of allowance for the second and third shifts and the construction of a roof for their bicycles.
The company gave a written response but refused to hold a bipartite negotiation. The next day the workers went to the regional branch of Ministry of Manpower, the Provincial Assembly, and they also went to the branch level union (SPSI) however these did not give serious attention to the workers grievances. The branch level union (SPSI) easily gave in to company pressure. They agreed to sign a letter to suspend 42 workers. All of the 42 workers were in the process of dismissal without any compensation. The workers have repeatedly attempted to demand their rights but none of these have succeeded. In the other hand, the company advertised the vacancy for the production operator in the local newspaper on 17thApril 1999.
Since May 1st the workers who were active during the strike were gradually transferred to the "manual machine" section. If they refused it then they will be dismissed. This phenomenon seem will be continue.
Please write, telephone , fax to PT. Impian Busana and Endless Co, Ltd. demanding:
Please post this Action Alert to
Please mail, fax or e-mail the copy of your letters to:
The workers representatives of PT. Impian Busana
c/o PO. Box 6201
Jawa Timur, Indonesia
Fax: +62-31-598 1579
Foto: Welt in Umwälzung
At the same day (May 10) the management sent a letter to each workers'parents informing them that their daughters were irresponsible and disobey their superiors attached to the letter a chronology from the view point of the manager. The parents were asked to come to the office of the company to settle the problems of their daughters.
May 11: workers held a rally to the office of East Jawa Provincial Assembly --in Surabaya-- to complain about the unfair temporary dismissal for 42 workers (two of them are pregnant) and violent action exercised by the management to three workers. The provincial assembly members asked workers to seek help from the local government officer in charge of manpower affair. Regarding the violent action, they ask workers to report to the local police office.
May 12: The violent victim accompanied by two witnesses (also workers) and 22 other workers went to the local police office to file a complain. At the beginning the officer in charge accept the complain and orally asked workers to come back on May 15.
May 15 : The victim accompanied by one witness came back to the police station. They were asked whether they had money for the doctor to examine them and made visum (doctor's explanation about the injury made to be used as legal proof in the court). The workers did not bring any money. The police then brought them to the local health care facilities (Puskesmas). It was already too late, so the health care was closed. They then were offered to be brought to the police hospital. For this also they needed to give some money to the police for their transportation. Again the workers refused to give any. It was already 3 o'clock p.m. At last the police told that it was useless for the workers to be examined by a doctor because the scars caused by the violent action was already vanished. The police however asked them to come again on May 17.
May 17 : The workers again came back to the same police station. The police did not bother them until it was quite late. The police then said that it was useless for them to file a complain since the scars they got after the torture was already vanished. They were blamed for not filing the complain immediately after the torture. The workers tried to explain once more the event. The police once again blamed the workers for refusing to be transferred. According to them, management had the right to transfer workers wherever they want.
May 21: One of the police officer came to the victim boarding house and asked her to cancel
her complain but she refused it.
The workers representative of PT. Impian Busana / Serikat Buruh Regional (SBR)
c/o PO. Box 6201
Fax.: +62-31-598 1579
A webpage of WELT IN UMWÄLZUNG Mannheim-Ludwigshafen, Germany
Mai 14, 1999