The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) is mobilising international support for dockworkers in Indonesia, who are striking and protesting from today.
ITF member union Serikat Pekerja Jakarta International Container Terminal (SPJICT) will be striking from 3 until 10 August over ruthless attacks to workers’ rights – in particular to pension rights and performance bonuses – which terminal management has been pursuing in the course of negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement.
The union has been organising at the largest container terminal at the Port of Tanjung Priok, Jakarta since 1999, and has worked since then to ensure that the port’s workers are treated with respect and dignity.
Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) has been run as a joint enterprise between Indonesian state-owned enterprise PELINDO II and global port operator Hutchison since 1999. JICT has just been granted an extension on its operating contract until 2039. However, in June, Indonesia’s Audit Board (BPK) announced that the JICT extension was contrary to local laws and is actually depriving the local state of potential revenue.
The extension deal is now being probed by the Indonesian anti-corruption commission, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK). According to the union, management is using the port extension as a smoke-screen to extract more profit from the enterprise by crushing workers’ rights.
SPJICT chair, Nova Hakim, has issued a call for solidarity, saying: “We urge our comrades in the ITF to support our strike in defence of our national asset, and in protecting the rights of our members. This port extension is robbing the Indonesian people, and we cannot stand idly by.”
ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin commented: “ITF dockers’ unions everywhere will be backing our Indonesian colleagues with lawful solidarity action and messages of support. They say that a fish rots from the head down and this wave of industrial action, coupled with other action at Tanjung Priok proves that something is seriously wrong with labour relations in at the port – something that the employers and government must remedy immediately.”
At the same time to the JICT action, dockworkers at ICTSI’s terminal at Tanjung Priok will escalate their own fight for justice to coincide with the start of the SJICT strike, and take action to resist harsh management practices. The workers’ union, the Federasi Serikat Buruh Transportasi dan Pelabuhan Indonesia (FBTPI) has announced it will hold a mass demonstration at the port on Thursday to demand that management end illegal outsourcing, pay unpaid overtime and settle a fair collective agreement with the union.
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