Indonesia - Employers attempt to bust unions, create yellow unions (2011)

Hundreds of workers demonstrated outside PT Sumi Indo Wiring System in Purwakarta, West Java, after the company dismissed and suspended workers in retaliation for their union activities. Workers were attempting to organise the factory with Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (FSPMI). The company emphasises that the workers are already organised under the Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Seluruh Indonesia (All-Indonesia Union of Workers – KSPSI) and claims that the workers were not dismissed for organising a new union, but rather for using company letterhead to distribute information about FSPMI.

The PLN Workers’ Union (PLNWU), whose members work for PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), a state-owned electric utility, filed a criminal complaint with the National Police against the PLN’s board of directors on 26 July over claims of union-busting. The complaint alleges that PLN President Director Dahlan Iskan withdrew previously enjoyed employee benefits and reassigned and dismissed several union members who had publicly opposed the firm’s decision to increase electricity rates. The board also established a new trade union.

Beginning on 31 August, officials of the New Zealand International School (KFNZIS) in Jakarta began a series of acts to harass and intimidate school employees after they joined the Federation of Education Training and Public Service Union (FESDIKARI - KSBSI). School officials interrogated union members about the reasons they joined the union, telling school employees that their grievances would only be heard if they resigned from the union. The union’s Chairman, Ignatia Widhiharsanto, was harassed, as was the union’s Vice-chairman, Ahmad Safatila. And renewal of the employment of the union’s Treasurer, Ms. Mujiyati, employment was made conditional on her resignation from the union. KFNZIS culminated its actions to bust the union when it dismissed the union’s Chairman and Vice-Cchairman on 30 September. The case was ongoing at the time of this report.

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