SERBUK PLTU Sumsel I Strike, A Struggle to Defend Workers’ Rights

Muara Enim – Tuesday (26/7), the strike at PLTU (Coal-Steam Power Plant) Sumatera Selatan (Sumsel) I today is officially started. Workers members of SERBUK PLTU Sumsel I stopped working after several negotiations between SERBUK Sumsel I with the Management of SGLPI, as the owner of PLTU Sumsel I, failed.

SERBUK PLTU Sumsel I demands the SGPLI management and its subcontractors to comply with applicable labour norms. The company pays its workers under the legal minimum wage, unilaterally terminate its workers, does not provide workers with annual leave, and no sufficient health facilitiies for the workers. The company also did not respond well for the demand of health facility.

SERBUK PLTU Sumsel I had held numerous negotiations, bipartite as well as tripartite negotiations. Even last negotiation, on Monday, involved many parties i.e. SERBUK PLTU Sumsel I, SGLPI management, local Labor office, the Police and also local government officials. And it was a deadlock! Therefore, there is no option left, to fight for the appropriated rights, the workers then decided to hold a strike, which is legal and guaranteed by law.

The strike is planned to last until August 1. As stated by the Chairperson of Regional Committee of SERBUK Sumsel, the workers decided to hold a strike as a result of management ignoring the workers’ demands. “If only the management complied with the law and regulation, we would not have to hold a strike,” said Tajudin expressing his disappointment due to the company’s unwillingness to fulfill workers’ demands.

The representative of SERBUK Executive Committee, Muhammad Husain Maulana, who was amongst the striking mass kept pumping up the spirit of the striking mass. “Comrades, we are on the right path. It is an obligation for us to fight for our rights. It is not just a tradition (sunnah). Once again, this is an obligation,” asserted Husain and the mass greeted it by shouting “long live the workers” repeatedly.

Representing the mass’ aspiration, SERBUK Sumsel I representative, Tajudin, said that there is still an open space for the management to do negotiation in order to avoid more loss on the company side. “We open the space for negotiation, so that this matter will not be dragged on. However, we are not going to negotiate our basic rights,” he asserted.

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