Twenty years is not a long time in the human civilization. However, the time span of twenty-two years is a long way in the fight for PLN Group Trade Union (SP PLN Group): SP PLN, PP IP, and SP PJB.
For the first time, after 22 years of its establishment, SP PLN Group having a celebration for their joint anniversary conducted on September 15, 2021. As we all know, SP PLN was formed on August 18, 1999, PP IP was formed on August 27, 1999, and SP PJB was formed on September 20, 1999.
The chairperson of joint anniversary committee, Parsahatan Siregar stated that the initial idea of this activity was came up when the general chairperson and the general secretary of SP PLN were invited by the Deputy Director of PLN on August 4, 2021, after SP PLN handed out the joint statement from SP PLN, PP IP, and SP PJB.
“After the meeting, I am as the 2nd deputy general secretary of SP PLN, the general treasurer of SP PLN, and the general secretary of PP IP Any Wijaya met” explained by Parsahatan. In the meeting, he asked about the celebration of SP PLN anniversary.
The conversation then initiated a discourse to commemorate the joint anniversary of SP PLN Group. “Since Bro. Andy is the General Secretary of PPIP, he was requested to liaise the communication with the general chairpersons and general secretaries, that finally receive a good respond so the event can be conducted” he stated.
The commemoration of the joint anniversary aimed as an effort to build perception, view, and a close communication. Besides, this activity is also aimed to strengthen the solidarity and solidity among the unions within PLN Group.
“In the future, the hope is that there will be a communication forum, so in the event of collective bargaining agreement and other issues, we can do it together,” he firmly stated.
Solidarity and solidity without limit need an intensive communication inter trade unions and the management. With good communication, a set up program can be implemented well. Related to that, needs an equal relation to materialize a harmonious industrial relation.
In this occasion, PLN Persero Commissioner Persero Eko Sulistyo conveyed that the backbone of PLN is the workers.
“Although the joint anniversary celebration is being conducted the first time, but the trade unions is related to the establishment of PLN and Indonesia nation. In the beginning, before nationalizing the company, the union has tried to take over the electricity to be handed to the Mother Land” stated Eko.
According to him, currently PLN has a financial pressure and there’s an effort to do a transformation. However, we must have confidence of a good growth post the pandemic. Where the electricity sector becoming main pillar to keep the growth.
“We are not only working in the electricity sector. But there is a social mandate to revive post the pandemic,” he firmly stated.
Additionally, in relation to the transformation challenges, all business in the electricity sector in the global level is also experienced a shift. This required us to clean up, one of them is to the renewable energy. For that, we will always keep the process so it will suit with what has become the government commitment in the Paris Agreement.
The HR Management Director of PT PLN Syofvi Felienty Roekman hoped that by the additional age of SP PLN Group will become a mature organization. After all, she continued, the union is the partner to the company to build a harmonious and conducive industrial relation for the advancement of PLN for materializing PLN transformation agenda.
“PLN has conducted transformation programs, becoming a prominent electricity company in Sout East Asia and first choice for the customer,” stated Syafvi.
Syafvi stated that PLN has four aspirations that become the direction of change for PLN, namely Green, Lean, Innovative, and Customer Focused.
“Through the aspiration of Green, PLN continues to increase the use of new renewable energy to produce the electricity. With Aspiration Lean, PLN ensures the electricity procurement is reliable and efficient. Meanwhile with the Innovative, PLN will expand the new source of income. Lastly, Customer Focused will lead PLN to be the first choice for the customers in the energy solution and reaching 100% electrification,” she emphasized.
Meanwhile the General Chairperson of Umum SP PLN M Abrar Ali firmly stated that the trade union is not only defend, protect, and fight for the members. More than that, the trade union is also defend the State interest.
“We are mandated to manage the strategic asset for the nation. We are the servant fo the state” stated him.
“We are the extension hand of the President in managing the electricity in the capital city to the outermost area of Indonesia, so the electricity can be enjoyed by all people of Indonesia.”
Conveyed by Abrar, there’s one philosophy, that human is adaptif with changes. The question is then, when changes, is the changes safe? Safe for the people, safe for the assets, and safe for the village. Do not let the changes put a harm.
“Since we have a national interest to keep the nation’s strategic assets, it’s natural to open a communication room to the existing changes,” him continued.
Toward the HR management, as this is stipulated by the law enacted to all SOE, this should be negotiated in the CBA. For that, Abrar hopes that in the promotion, termination, to the rights and position of the employee should be consulted first with the trade union.
Continuing the remark conveyed by the General Chairperson of SP PLN, the General Secretary of SP PJB Dewanto Wicaksono stated that 22 years is not young for a union. This is a quite mature age. For that, the joint anniversary celebration is a very good moment for all employees and the union to tighten the line, as the challenges in the future will be getting harder.
“Union has function to defend and improve members welfare. But there’s more important issue, namely keeping company sustainability,” stated Dewanto.
In relation to this, the union as the management partner receive a trust, not only protected by the law but also regulated in the CBA and union constitution. “We have obligation to improve company’s performance,” he further stated.
Those who are in the union are the chosen one. Super Person. Since besides working for the interest of the company, they are also still volunteering themselves to think about the union.
Dewanto conveyed that besides keeping the welfare of the members, the union also think about the role and function of the union in the SOE. However, the union in the PLN environment is gained a trust from the predecessor and the people. That PLN as a company is not only chasing for profit. But also has obligation as Public Service Obligation (PSO).
“Our PSO is the ratio of electrification, that currently is almost reaching 100%. As a state company, we must balance between chasing for profit and good service company,” ended him.
In his remark, the General Chairperson of PP IP Dwi Hantoro urged that the togetherness can be a momentum to come back to the nature of union establishment. Where SP PLN Trade Union was formed from a reform and renewal movement in Indonesia.
That is why the trade union should guard so the company can keep growing and developing. With current condition full of dynamic dashing the company, so the workers must be more solid.
“Let’s equalize the frequency and spirit. That when the company flourishing, the workers will be prosperous” stated Dwi. Just like what’s mandated in the law, we have assignment to keep the consistency and energy sovereignty, especially in the electricity sector.
“The trade union is consisted of great people, who are able to balance the assignment in the company and also in the union side,” he emphasized.
The remark is not only from the domestic country but also from the global trade union leaders. The Secretary General of Public Service International (PSI) Rosal Pavaneli was also gave a remark in the celebration of SP PLN Group Anniversary.
Rosa conveyed that PSI as the global union federation has members of 30 million workers represented by 700 trade union affiliates in 154 countries.
“Your job is very important for the people’s welfare, that fully dependent to the access of continuous and reliable electricity service” stated Rosa. It’s conveyed, that pandemic Covid-19 pushed a continuous technology development that has highlighted the need to ensure the energy service for all. This is becoming clearer; the union is an important part of the fight to reduce inequality and injustice around the world.
However, stated Rosa, for more of this 30 year more energy generator has been privatized. Changing from the service to the people and community to become the source of profit for companies and financial institution. In her opinion, this is part of global attack to the public service in water, education, transportation and many more.
In this regard, Rosa appreciates the fight carried out by PLN Group trade union for the success in fighting the privatization trend in Indonesia with a solid leadership and strong members mobilization.
“I am proud that the experience of PSI in the energy privatization across the countries for years has helped your union to build argument and bring the evidences about the danger of privatization in the energy sector,” she stated.
In Indonesia, PLN Group unions has won two important cases in the court that will protect public energy system. However, there are some parties using dirty trick to weaken your union. “But you able to fight that and I am glad to see that you rebuild (your union) after these attacks; that you organize and strengthen the solidarity and unity of the workers,” she emphasized.
Rosa also conveyed that she just signed the letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo and urge the Indonesian government to fight new pressure to privatize geothermal and coal-steam power plant. In the letter, Rosa offers PSI service for the government to give understanding about the danger of energy privatization from other countries.
“You know that you can rely on PSI; that we will be on your side for months and years ahead to build your union power. And to defend the quality of public energy service for all is becoming an important matter for PSI globally. To spread your experience, your determination, your constant fight to defend workers in the public sector, the rights in energy sector, and to defend public energy system,” Rosa firmly stated.
Not only Rosa Pavanelli, The General Secretary of the Public Services International (PSI) Kate Lappin was also congratulated SP PLN. Kate conveyed the gratitude for inviting PSI to celebrate the joint anniversary of SP PLN Group.
“The pandemic has separated us, but it hasn’t broken our solidarity,” Kate Lappin stated.
Kate reminded that in in the past year we have continue to find ways to draw our strength, from our global union movement and from the local struggle like what has been done by SP PLN Group.
“PSI PSI is proud to has been part of your struggle of the many years to defend workers and the right to public energy in Indonesia And we are proud of the work to bring the energy union together to fight the new threat that occurred in the last year when the government of Indonesia has again threaten workers and public electricity,” she stated.
Kate also acknowledged the works done by Indah, who has been and will continue to become “champion” for you all and for all Indonesian affiliates within PSI. “I know she has been proud to work with you and support your struggle over the past years,” she firmly stated.
“Brothers and sisters,” continued Kate Lappin, “you have a proud history. A history that is legendary within the PSI family. You are the defenders of workers in the energy sector to make sure they gain the wages and the condition they deserved.”
“You are the defenders of the right to energy for all people in Indonesia. A human right that allows country and community to prosper and nobody should be denied. And you are the defenders of Indonesian constitutions, and the right it contains to make sure the public services, particularly the public services of energy remain a right for the people, not the corporations.”
Kate further affirmed “there can’t be no prouder history than this history of dedication the workers to people, to democracy, and to the rule of law.”
She also mentioned about omnibus law issue. According to her, in the past year the government of Indonesia have used the pandemic as an opportunity to push through the dangerous Omnibus law as the gift to the rich and powerful. The law robs workers of their labor rights and promotes privatization
And now, she continued, politicians and their corporate cronies are using new tactics creating a holding company and an IPO to sell of part of your public energy. It’s the same aim to privatize energy so that the rich can profit and the workers and public pay the price
PSI’s experience around the world proves again and again there’s only one reason to privatize energy and that’s to make the rich richer. All the other claims, government and the development bank make are lies.
“It would not provide more energy because we know that companies don’t invest in any new energy, they just buy up what the public has already developed,” she stated. She further affirmed that it won’t reduce price. Instead, people will pay more, and the government will lose control in setting prices, particularly for those who needed the most, the poorest in the community
Besides that, there won’t be any job increase, it’s the opposite. The companies try to get rid of workers and dropdown wages, making worksite more dangerous.
“And now they are using climate change as another reason to privatize energy. But we know that the only way to manage the climate crisis and to develop enough renewable clean energy.”
According to Kate, to make the transition away from fossil fuel is for public energy, like PLN to develop the energy we need for the future. “But all of you know this too well. You’ve been fight in this fight for many years, and you’ve been winning.”
“So, in this anniversary, on your anniversary, let us celebrate your wins, your proud history. Let’s recommit ourself to the fight for decent work for public energy for all and for strong powerful union movement in Indonesia, in the Asia Pacific Region, and in the world,” she concluded.