Thousands of workers at a peaceful protest at PT Panarub Industry were attacked and dispersed by police forces of Tangerang, dozens of workers injured

Thousands of workers at a peaceful protest at PT Panarub Industry were attacked and dispersed by police forces of Tangerang, dozens of worke...

Thousands of workers at a peaceful protest at PT Panarub Industry were attacked and dispersed by police forces of Tangerang, dozens of workers injured.

At 4.30pm 2 September 2010 thousands of workers at PT Panarub who were carrying out a peaceful demonstration in front of the factory were suddenly and violently attacked and dispersed by police. Protesters were kicked, sprayed with tear gas and warning shots were fired. As a result of the incident, dozens of workers were left wounded and several were rushed to nearby clinics, while others were evacuated to safe locations in the area.

According to the leaders of the SBGTS-GSBI union at PT Panarub Industry, this police action was brutal and without warning. There was no prior invitation to enter discussions with the workers carrying out the action, instead the police opened the main gates from inside the factory and attacked the workers. They ordered workers inside the factory to go home, and forbade them to associate with participants of an action.

The protest action was held by thousands of workers from the 31 August 2010. The protest was about the management’s policy on the THR pay (compulsory pay for the Lebaran holiday) for the 9th of September 2010. The workers also protested against the allowance of only 5 days leave for Lebaran and also the tax levied on the holiday pay. As explained by SBGTS-GSBI leader, Sari Idayani, this action was carried out in protest of management policies which were a financial disaster for workers. The action demanded an increased in the THR pay and that the THR pay is delivered in full and distributed according to the Ministerial Regulation 04/1994, at least a week before the commencement of Lebaran . Up to the 31st of August the workers had not received their holiday pay. Secondly, the workers demand that the income tax (PPH21) on the holiday pay be covered by management. While every citizen is obligated to pay tax, with such a small amount of THR pay workers are severely disadvantaged if they have to pay a tax of between 40,000-150,000 per person, and if you multiply this amount by the 10,000 workers, the total amount of taxation is large. So workers request that the PPH21 is covered by management. Workers believe that a factory of the status of Panarub, that is to say, a business which produces adidas shoes of international quality, can certainly afford to cover this. Thirdly, workers ask to be given a Lebaran holiday of 6 days. Factory policy has only given workers 5 days leave. If workers are only given 5 days and the holiday leave is only paid from 9 September 2010 it is clear that they cannot return to our villages to celebrate Lebaran. Forth, workers also ask for an increase in the food assistance money from Rp. 5,000 per day to Rp. 12,000 per day. Workers also asked to be given full freedom of association – for all worker and union leader activities. Finally workers asked for the production manager, Ibu Lika, to be stood down, because of her arbitrary and unfair treatment of workers.

On 31 August 2010 thousands of workers began a protest action at 05.30 in front of the factory under strict surveillance by police forces. According to Sari Indayani, the action by thousands of workers was a spontaneous demonstration of anger following receiving their pay slips and seeing that the company had taken out income tax for the holiday pay—whereas the workers had not yet received the holiday pay itself.

After voicing their concerns and an increasingly number of workers became involved in the action, the company offered to hold negotiations. The workers via their unions, namely SBGTS-GSBI and SPN, put forward 5 representatives from their respective organisations, all of whom were union leaders. The negotiations went under way, however they did not result in any resolution. According to Amin Mustolih (the head of SBGTS union) the company refused to fulfil the workers’ demands, and only recommended that the workers went back to work. Obviously those from SBGTS and SPN rejected the company’s response and in their organisational capacities agreed to carry out an action until all demands were fulfilled.
Because there was no resolution following negotiations with company representatives, at 1pm thousands of workers marched towards the office of the Mayor of Tangerang to complain about the situation. Here also the thousands of workers obtained no result. The workers were unable to meet with the Mayor, only with the head of the Workforce Department, who only promised to come to the factory the next day to resolve the dispute.

Full of disappointment, the workers dispersed at 5pm.

Thousands of workers continue to demonstrate
Because their demands had not been met and also to ensure that head of the work force department kept his promise, the following day (Wednesday 1 September 2010) thousands of workers returned to protest in front of the factory, while a portion of workers returned to work after being pressured by their supervisors and the heads of their respective sections.

After waiting for a long time, the head of the Workforce Department did not arrive and the factory continued to ignore the worker’s protest. Because the workers felt deceived by the head of the Workforce Department, the morning thousands of workers marched to the office of the Director of Taxation in the city of Tangerang, and then moved on masse to the office of the Workforce Department. Other workers held out in front of the factory.

After the Workforce Department office was surrounded by thousands of workers, finally the head of the department came to meet with the workers and to hold negotiations. In the initial negotiations the Workforce Department was only willing to produce a non-binding decree, but all the workers rejected this idea. Then in the second negotiation, with different negotiating teams, and upon the urging of the workers, the Workforce Department of Tangerang was finally willing to produce an official decree (No. 560/4536-Disnaker/2010) which states that “The income tax (PPH) under article 21 must be covered by the company”.

The company still rejected the decree of the Workforce Department of Tangerang and continued to refuse to fulfil the workers’ demands.

On the last day (Thursday, 2 September 2010) with the Workforce Department decree in hand, thousands of workers returned to continue their demonstration in front of the factory to ask Panarub to immediately implement the decree and fulfil all of the workers’ demands.

The protest of these thousands of workers still received no response from Panarub; the thousands of workers in front of the factory were ignored and the company was determined not to fulfil their demands. They even refused to implement the decree from the head of the Tangerang Workforce Department.

Since well into the afternoon there was still no response from the factory, according to Amin Mustolih (the head of SBGTS) thousands of workers decided to maintain the protest and set up tents in front of the factory until the workers’ demands were fulfilled.

Before these thousands of workers succeeded in setting up tents in front of the factory, at 4.30 pm as workers were voicing their demands and lining up along the gates of the main factory, police from inside the factory suddenly opened the gates. They immediately attacked the workers who were protesting with tear gas, and fired warning shots; workers were hit and kicked resulting in an atmosphere of chaos and panic.

As a result of this incident, dozens of workers were wounded and rushed to medical clinics while others were evacuated to safe locations in the vicinity.
One of the workers now identified as a victim of brutal violence was Turi Dahlia (female) who is an acting leader of SBGTS, her big toe was bruised and swollen and her body bruised in many places. Ruri Aprimayasari (also female) was kicked in the stomach and back by police, and her bottom lip was split open.

In confronting this peaceful protest, the factory personnel not only lined up hundreds of police, but also had prepared a water cannon vehicle inside the factory.
PT Panarub Industry is a company which produces Adidas sports shoes. The factory address is Jalan Raya Moch.Toha KM 1 Gerendeng Kota Tangerang-Banten. PT Panarub Industry employs 11,000 workers, the majority of whom are women.

Contact Person:
Rudi HB Daman/General Director of GSBI, mobile: +62 (0) 818-08974078, office: +62(0) 21 4223824

Presently PT Panarub is still determined not to fulfil the demands of workers. It is clear that Panarub has violated applicable regulations, specifically Ministerial Regulation 04/1994 in the distribution of holiday pay. Besides this, the company’s response to the workers protest was crafty, arranging violence by police and local mafia (these people were paid by the factory). In addition, there is the interference by police in labour issues as well as their excessive and out of control conduct in handling a peaceful protest with such violent methods.
Considering these developments, we from the Central Leadership Committee at GSBI, acting as the parent organisation of SBGTS-GSBI Panarub Industry, ask for encouragement and solidarity from all our friends/allies. We ask allies to support the struggle of workers at PT Panarub Industry. These workers have joined together with their SBGTS-GSBI and SPN unions and delivered a protest letter and urgent plea to PT Panarub. The letter asks Panarub to immediately fulfil the workers demands as well as protests and deplores the violence carried out by police in handling the peaceful action carried out by Panarub workers yesterday afternoon.

Letters of support can be sent to:
PTP.SBGTS-GSBI PT. Panarub Industry
JL. Moch. Toha Km 1 Gerendeng Kota Tangerang
Email : and Amin Mustolih
Telp : 0858-80112306 (Amin Mustolih/Head of PTP.SBGTS-GSBI PT. Panarub Industry)
Telp : 0812-19599778 (Sari Idayani/Leader at PTP.SBGTS-GSBI PT.Panarub Industry)

Letters of protest can be sent to:

Mr Hendrik Sasmita (Direktur Utama PT.Panarub Industry)
JL. Raya Moch. Toha KM 1 Gerendeng Kota Tangerang-Banten 15112
Telp : 021.5520047/ 021. 5666176
Fax : 021. 5224319 / 5604668 / 5520046
Email : Hendrik Panarub ; and Budiarto

JL. Raya Daan Mogot , Kota Tangerang Banten
Telp : 021.5523160/5523003

Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 25 Plaza DM Lt.10 Jakarta
Email : Harry Nurmansyah :, or Adelina Simanjuntak : and William Anderson :

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