Open Letter to President of Republic Indonesia from Panarub Dwikarya (PDK) Workers

Poto Dok GSBI. Aksi Buruh PDK di kantor Adidas Jakarta, April 2018 Open Letter to Mr. Jokowi, President of Republic of Indonesia from PT...

Poto Dok GSBI. Aksi Buruh PDK di kantor Adidas Jakarta, April 2018
Open Letter to Mr. Jokowi, President of Republic of Indonesia
from PT Panarub Dwikarya (PDK) worker -Tangerang

Dearest Mr. Jokowi,
A few months ago, media was saturated with a  news on “Nike” shoes that you wore. I believe your shoes are not just “shoes”. We all know these international brands have high quality products. Everyone live on the Earth knows that soon Soccer top stars will wear cool shoes of Adidas, and Nike in World Cup 2018.

Dearest Mr, Jokowi,
I will not talk about Nike nor Adidas, but I will tell you the lives of the owners of nimble fingers who have sewn those shoes. I am telling this story so anybody who wear those expensive unaffordable shoes will know that behind those shoes there are exploited and oppressed workers.

Honorable Mr. Jokowi,
My Name is Kokom Komalawati, I was a worker in PT Panarub Dwikarya ( PT PDK ) and i am also the chairperson of SBGTS GSBI. On July 2012, 2000 workers of PT PDK exercised their right to do strike. What triggered them to do strike was because the company:
1.    refused to pay sectoral wage;
2.    had conducted union busting;
3.    poor working condition such as pregnant women worker work in nightshifts, difficult to do other activities such as to drink, to do pray, to go to toilet, etc.;
4.    verbal and non verbal violence, for example if one does not work one will be punished to stand up in front of the line for the whole day.

Other that those reasons that I mentioned, the strike was also expression of disspointment over Tangerang City Manpower Office Labor Inspectorate who does not carry its function. Previously, union had sent two request letters to Labor Inspectorate to do inspection in PT PDK. However, no responses nor action was taken.

Dearest Mr. Jokowi,
Tangerang City Labor Inspector’s failure have made us undertand that workers  do not have protection whatsoever. This is even confirmed by the reprisal that we received from the company. The strike was retaliated with termination of 1300 workers.

Honorable Mr. President,

Termination of 1300 workers does not only affect 1300 people. Let’s count. If a worker has two dependents, there are three thousand nine hundred people who are affected by the termination. Do you know what are the impact of a worker termination?

Eight workers’ children must leave their school because they could not afford to pay the tuition, three workers were evicted from their rented house because they did not have income to pay the rent, six women were divorced, and 1300 workers lost their income to support their lives.

Dearest Mr. Jokowi,
You must be wondering, what does this case have to do with you? Let alone that this case happened in 2012. I truly understand your wondering. The termination did happen during SBY’s administrative, and until today, 2018, the case is not settled yet. From the very day you were elected as the president of this Republic until the coming end of your administrative period.

The union has received eight recommendations from eleven different state agencies, including KOMnasham (Human Rights Commission). And do you know that none of those recommendation has been implemented by PT Panarub Dwikarya management? I believe you can imagine how powerful PT Panarub Dwikarya’s owner is that recommendations from eleven state agenscies were thrown away just like that.

Mr. President, on November 2016, ILO issued a recommendation. One of the points of the recommendation was that the government must ensure the payment of compensation for workers who were terminated after the strike. The year of 2016 was a year after you were elected. Do you know, Mr. President, that we have had 22 actions in front of Ministry of Labor Building? We also had reported this illegal termination to Kantor Staff Presiden because there is not any chance we can meet you in person.

Dearest Mr. Jokowi,
From November 2018 to May 2018, what has the Ministry of Labor done? Nothing more than facilitating meeting between the union and the company. The result of those meetings is that the company is willing to give us “tali asih”, 'mark of appreciation', as if it were only paying this money as a magnanimous gesture. In the world of labor relation, we do not recognize any term of  “tali asih”.

Mr. President, it is true that you inherit this “problem” from Pak SBY. But you have been in power for almost five years and still you have not done much for the case, therefore this case is still hanging. I don’t really know if Mr. Hanif Dhakiri still have the face to give speech on labor issues in ILO sessions, while in fact, he doesn’t have the gut and willingness to implement ILO’s recommendation for only one case, let alone to speak about labor issues generally.

Dearest Mr. Jokowi,
We think that the absent of willingness from Panarub Group to settle the case is part of harassment to government agencies. Panarub Group is owned by a citizen of this Republic, then what about Adidas attitude? We all know that Adidas has its own Code of Conduct, signed the FOA protocol, but why Adidas’ suppliers violate their workers’ rights? For us, it is clear that Adidas does not have any concern over its workers’ welfare and amenities. Adidas only concerns about the quality of the shoes, and control over the profit that it will get from the shoes.

Dearest Mr. Jokowi,
Adidas states that it will not be responsible for PT Panarub Dwikarya’s terminated workers, although those workers have generate humongous profit from Adidas. As the President of this Republic, don’t you think that Adidas has harrassed this nation’s pride? And don’t you think there’s something wrong with Ministry of Labor’s performance that it could not handle and settle a labor case for six years? I strongly believe that this does not only happen to us, Adidas’ workers. We know there is AMT (Tank Crew), there is Freeport workers case, and there are many others, which are not even close to be resolved.

Dearest Mr. President, could please show us how can we believe that there is a Law in this Republic that protects us, workers; how can we believe that there is something called Hubungan Industrial Pancasila (Pancalis Industrial Relation)? We believe that The Second and Fifth Principles of Pancasila should be enough to protect us. State has been contributing to impoverish its people, to take away our children from their school. I know that you also believe that dismissal is not just a labor dispute, but it is also a humanity matter. The question is will you stay idle in front of these cases?

Tangerang, 02 June 2018

Kokom Komalawati
(PT PDK worker and chairperson of PTP. SBGTS-GSBI PT PDK)

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