Commemorating May Day in Bali, workers slam companies for sacking them by mail

Detik News – May 1, 2021
Workers gather at Bali Regional House of Representatives on May Day – May 1, 2021 (Detik)

Sui Suadnyana, Denpasar – A number of companies in Bali have sacked workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Workers say they regret this especially since dismissal letters were not handed to them directly but sent via the post office.

"There are (workers) who don't agree with it (the sackings), they (the letters) were sent by post", said Bali regional Independent Trade Union Federation (FSPM) Chairperson Anak Agung Gede Eka Putra Yasa following a May Day action at the Balinese Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) on Saturday May 1.

Yasa said that the sackings are wrong and workers should have been invited to meet with employers and find a better solution instead of being sacked arbitrarily.

One of the workers who was sacked by post was Gusti Ngurah Adi Saputra who received a letter from his employer in October 2020.

"The dismissal letter was sent to me all of a sudden through the post (office) in October 2020. To this day I haven't received any severance pay, I reject being sacked, it's arbitrary", he explained.

The 34-year-old man lost his job at a hotel in Seminyak despite having worked there for more than 10 years. Saputra said he is trying to survive by running a small business in order support his wife and child.

A number of workers in Bali from the FSPM commemorated May Day by descending on the Balinese DPRD to convey their wish that the thousands of sacked workers will be reemployed.

The arbitrary sackings are not in accordance with a 2020 circular from the Balinese governor on protecting workers and sustaining businesses impacted upon by Covid-19.

In relation to this, the DPRD and the workers agreed to close down businesses which continue to sack workers and the DPRD will recommend this to the governor.

"We'll summon these undisciplined employers, a first summons, a second, (and) a third. If on the third (time) there is no follow up, yes we will recommend that the (Bali DPRD's) Commission IV recommend to the governor that the business be closed", said DPRD Bali Deputy Speaker I Nyoman Suyasa after listening to the workers demands.

During the action it was also revealed at a number of employers had received funds so that they would not have to dismiss staff, but several have still gone ahead and sacked workers.

A hotel with the initials WSB for example received up to 11 billion rupiah while the hotel SND also received around 8 billion rupiah. But neither hotel has reemployed its sacked workers.

"That's why we are asking again, where did the funds go. Sackings continue, let it be pursued by the related parties so that if they have already received funds they should be able to reemploy their employees or furlough them until tourism is back to normal", said Yasa. (jbr/jbr)

[Translation by James Balowski. Abridged for length. The original title of the article was "May Day 2021, Buruh di Bali Kecam Pengusaha Kirim Surat PHK Via Pos".]