After going on strike for 15 days, workers of the Sumsel 1 power plant construction project in South Sumatra on Monday reached an agreement with their employer, Guandong Power Engineering Company. The workers belong to F-SERBUK union, a BWI affiliate.
“This agreement will bring huge improvements in our working conditions, such as the lawful payment of wages and overtime work, as well a massive correction in wage and overtime pay discrepancies over the last two years,” said SERBUK General Secretary Khamid Istakhori. “It’s challenging to resort to collective industrial action, but this victory makes our struggle and sacrifices worth it.”
In addition to wages, the union said that the company has agreed to reinstate 19 workers who were unlawfully terminated and to register all its workers in BJPS, Indonesia’s social security and worker compensation program (to cover them in case of work-related injuries). The company also expressed readiness to discuss the regularization of contractual workers after three months.
The union expressed its readiness to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It said that it is closely monitoring the international health crisis and has taken the necessary precautions to protect its members from the virus. “Even during our negotiations with the company, we wore protective masks and constantly observed social distancing,” Istakhori said.
“We understand clearly that in order for the economy to recover after this crisis, new infrastructure projects are needed, such as the project we are working on. However, in any attempt to revitalize the economy, it is vital to puts workers’ rights and welfare at the forefront,” Istakhori concluded.