Labour coordination posts attacked by thugs, workers assaulted

Berita Satu – October 29, 2012
FSPMI coordinating post (Koran Perdjoeangan)
FSPMI coordinating post (Koran Perdjoeangan)

Ronna Nirmala/Ratna Nuraini – Unidentified individuals have attacked at least 10 labour coordination posts. Workers wearing organisational identification have been assaulted and their uniforms stripped off.

The incident occurred the previous evening at at least 10 labour coordination posts at factories located in the industrial zones in Jababeka, Cikarang and Bekasi. The attackers are calling themselves the Bekasi United Social Forum (FMBB).

A gathering of Bekasi workers today strongly condemned the attacks that were carried out by groups of people suspected of being thugs. Bekasi Joint Labour Secretariat (Sekber Buruh) spokesperson Budi Wardoyo said that the attacks carried out since yesterday evening are suspected to have been don on the orders of particular parties. Not, he continued, on the group’s own initiative.

“Earlier there was in fact a leaflet that was distributed containing threats against workers [warning them] not to hold anymore street protests, on the grounds that it disrupted local stability and security”, said Wardoyo when contacted today. In concert with these attacks, said Wardoyo, several Bekasi investor forums visited the Ministry of Trade and Industry to request input on the recent protest actions by workers.

Not only did they pay a visit on the Ministry of Trade and Industry, but also the Indonesian military (TNI), in order to ask the TNI to secure these protest actions. “So we conceded that the attacks are a response to their requests to the parties concerned”, continued Wardoyo.

Prior knowledge

Wardoyo has also accused security forces and the government of having prior knowledge of the attacks and choosing to allow them to occur without taking any preventative measures to protect the workers.

Wardoyo also explained that the attacks have actually been taking place since the previous evening. A group of people dressed up as thugs visited several labour coordination posts in Jababeka, Cikarang and Bekasi.

“The thugs began by conducting sweeps for workers at PT Samsung, several workers were sacked and one was also assaulted”, added Wardoyo. “Not just content with that, the attackers also stripped the cloths from workers wearing labour forum uniforms”.

Meanwhile the attackers, who call themselves the FMBB, according to Wardoyo, demanded that workers sign an agreement not to hold any more protest actions and agree to outsourcing employment systems.

So far Wardoyo has been reluctant to report the attacks to the authorities and has elected to collect data on workers who have fallen victim to the assaults. “We don’t yet know exactly how many, later after all [the information] has been gathered we will make a report”, he explained.

[Sejumlah Posko Buruh di Bekasi Diserang dan Diteror – Berita Satu. Senin, 29 Oktober 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]