Sacked workers ‘hijack’ fuel trucks, drive them to State Palace

CNN Indonesia – March 18, 2019
Pertamina tanker workers protest in front of State Palace – March 18, 2019 (SP-AMT)
Pertamina tanker workers protest in front of State Palace – March 18, 2019 (SP-AMT)

Jakarta – Pertamina Tanker Truck Employees Union (SP-AMT) internal media team coordinator Chori explained that their aim in bringing the fuel tanker trucks to the State Palace in Jakarta on Monday March 18 was to show the workers’ dissatisfaction with PT Pertamina subsidiaries Patra Niaga and Elnusa Petrofin.

Two tanker trucks from the state-owned oil company Pertamina were hijacked by unidentified individuals and driven at speed to the State Palace at 5 am. The drivers of the 32 kiloliter capacity trucks, Muslih bin Engkon and Cepi Khaerul, were even threatened and forced to alight form the vehicles.

Chori said that the trucks were taken as a bargaining chip in order to get the company to fulfill its promises related to the violation of workers’ normative rights.

“The language was borrowing them [the trucks]. As a bargaining chip, to bargain with the company because after five or six meetings no solution was found which satisfied us”, he told CNN Indonesia when sought for confirmation about the incident.

SP-AMT public relations officer Wadi Atmawijaya meanwhile said that the tanker trucks were not hijacked  but were taken in a spontaneous action because of the workers’ sense of disappointment.

Atmawijaya said that the union had also complained about the problem to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo but so far there has still been no point of agreement reached and the president has not taken any serious steps to resolve the problem.

“Oh no [it wasn’t a hijacking], we did it spontaneously because we felt disappointed after the meeting with Bapak [Mr] president”, he said.

Atmawijaya explained that the union has been protesting since 2016. Although mediation talks have been held between all of the related parties, not resolution has been found. Atmawijaya said that a total of 1,095 tanker truck crews had been sacked.

Meanwhile PT Pertamina Patra Niaga corporate legal manager Harman said he regretted the hijacking saying that the two parties are currently holding negotiations.

“Yes, it’s true that that happened. We are very disappointed with actions such as this because they are still in the process of negotiating with us, we are still discussing their proposal, so this means that we have already accepted their proposal”, said Harman.

Central Jakarta Metro Jaya police chief Senior Commissioner Harry Kurniawan said that police have already secured the two tankers that were at the National Monument (Monas) near the State Palace. The two trucks, which are owned by PT Garda Utama Nasional (GUN), did not reach their destinations because they were hijacked  by a group of people.

“PT GUN as the transporter of the vehicles one of which should have been at its intended location did not in fact arrive at its destination and was found in the Monas area today”, he said.

Kurniawan said that police have already mediated with the related parties such as the transporter and the people who allegedly hijacked  the trucks.

Meanwhile North Jakarta municipal police chief Senior Commissioner Budhi Herdi Susianto said that they have already identified the perpetrators of the hijacking.

“We have identified around 10 people, the witnesses were the drivers of the two trucks (two people) and the two assistant drivers. We have questioned all of them”, said Susianto.

According to Susianto, the hijacking of the fuel trucks was a criminal offence and police are trying to find the alleged perpetrators. (ani/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Dalih Massa Aksi Bajak Mobil Tangki, Tak Puas pada Pertamina”.]