Kompas Perpanjang Pelanggaran HAM RI
|Up Date Berita !
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
|(catatan redaksi: setiap tahun, Departemen Luar Negeri Amerika Serikat mengeluarkan evaluasi tahunan tentang praktek pelanggaran HAM di seluruh negara. Walau telah coba ditutupi oleh pimpinan Kompas dengan cara memblokade pemberitaan media untuk pemberangusan serikat pekerja, namun untuk tahun 2006 Kompas telah memperpanjang daftar pelanggaran HAM RI. Khususnya ketika Pemred Kompas Suryopratomo memecat Sekretaris Serikat Pekerja Perkumpulan Karyawan Kompas, Bambang Wisudo. Bahan catatan ini merupakan rujukan penting bagi anggota Kongres AS maupun Konfederasi Serikat Buruh Internasional terhadap masalah HAM dan perburuhan Indonesia. Berikut petikan assesment dan penilaian Deplu AS tentang kondisi HAM di Indonesia, khususnya masalah perburuhan, yang dipublikasi tanggal 6 Maret 2007.)
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006
Indonesia is a multiparty republic with a population of approximately 245 million. In 2004 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono became the country’s first directly elected president in elections that international observers judged to be free and fair. Voters also chose two national legislative bodies in 2004: the House of Representatives (DPR) and the newly created House of Regional Representatives (DPD). While civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces, in some instances elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian authority.
The government generally has been unable to adequately address serious human rights abuses committed in the past. Inadequate resources, weak leadership, and limited accountability contributed to continued abuses by security force personnel, although with sharply reduced frequency and gravity than under past governments. The following human rights problems occurred during the year: unlawful killings by security force personnel, terrorists, vigilante groups, and mobs; torture; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary detentions; a corrupt judicial system; warrantless searches; infringements on free speech; restrictions on peaceful assembly; interference with freedom of religion by private parties, sometimes with complicity of local officials; intercommunal religious violence; violence and sexual abuse against women and children; trafficking in persons; failure to enforce labor standards and violations of worker rights, including forced child labor.
During the year the implementation of the Aceh peace accord, signed in 2005, continued to yield substantial legal and judicial improvements. No unlawful disappearances occurred; human rights observers were given open access to the province; and the year marked the election of a former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leader as governor. Domestic and international observers judged the elections to be free and fair. In the legal area the government added Confucianism to the list of officially recognized faiths; a new law gave important citizenship rights to foreign spouses of citizens and the children of such marriages; court decisions applied the more expansive press law rather than the more punitive criminal law in press freedom cases; and the Constitutional Court declared articles of the penal code criminalizing defamation of the president and vice president unconstitutional.
Section 6 Worker Rights
a. The Right of Association
The law provides broad rights of association for workers, and workers exercised these rights. The law allows workers to form and join unions of their choice without previous authorization or excessive requirements, and workers did so in practice.The law stipulates that 10 or more workers have the right to form a union, with membership open to all workers, regardless of political affiliation, religion, ethnicity, or gender. Private sector workers are by law free to form worker organizations without prior authorization, and unions may draw up their own constitutions and rules and elect representatives. The Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration (the manpower ministry) records, rather than approves, the formation of a union, federation, or confederation and provides it with a registration number. During the year, some unions reported local manpower ministry offices prejudicially recommended denial of registration. During the year one union federation registered with the manpower ministry, bringing the total number of registered federations to 88. Ministry officials noted that only 64 federations recorded by the ministry had verifiable members. The vast majority of union members belonged to one of three union confederations: the All-Indonesia Trade Union Confederation (KSPSI), the Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union Confederation (KSBSI), and the Indonesian Trade Union Congress. In addition more than 11,000 workplace-level units were registered with the manpower ministry, a drop from the 18,000 reported in 2005, which were based on unions’ self-reported data.
According to the government, the country’s total labor force consisted of approximately 110 million workers, 42 percent of whom worked in the agricultural and forestry sector. From April to September 2005, the manpower ministry conducted a survey of union membership, the results of which indicated a significantly reduced number of union members compared with previous estimates. In the past, the government had relied upon unions’ self-reported membership statistics. The manpower ministry estimated total trade union membership at 3.4 million workers, less than 4 percent of the total workforce. However, this figure of 3.4 million union members is 14 percent of the regular, formal sector workforce of 23.8 million (a category that excludes the self-employed, employers, casual workers, and unpaid workers).
The law recognizes civil servants’ freedom of association and right to organize, and employees of several ministries formed employee associations; union organizations sought to organize these workers. Unions also sought to organize state-owned enterprise (SOE) employees, although they encountered resistance from enterprise management, and the legal basis for registering unions in SOEs remained unclear.
The law allows the government to petition the courts to dissolve a union if it conflicts with the state ideology of Pancasila or the constitution, or if a union’s leaders or members, in the name of the union, commit crimes against the security of the state and are sentenced to at least five years in prison. Once a union is dissolved, its leaders and members may not form another union for at least three years. There were no reports that the government dissolved any unions during the year. The law prohibits anti-union discrimination by employers and others against union organizers and members and provides penalties for violations; however, the government did not effectively enforce the law in many cases. There were frequent, credible reports of employer retribution against union organizers, including dismissals and violence that were not prevented effectively or remedied in practice. Some employers warned employees against contact with union organizers. Some unions claimed that strike leaders were singled out for layoffs when companies downsized. Legal requirements existed for employers to reinstate workers fired for union activity, although in many cases the government did not enforce this effectively.
On May 19, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the State Administrative High Court and the lower courts that the workers dismissed following an April 2005 strike be reinstated and receive back pay. On July 19, the union and company reached an agreement whereby the company would compensate the workers for back pay and provide a severance payment. In turn the workers renounced their right to be re-hired. The workers at a private security firm in Jakarta, Group4/Securicor, went on strike over the firm’s plans to reduce benefits following a merger. According to the NGO Solidarity Center, in May 2005, Jakarta police called in for questioning and intimidated four union leaders. The police reportedly explained that they were investigating the union leaders for possible charges of defamation and asked them to identify other workers from photographs taken at a lawful union demonstration in April 2005. The company terminated 200 workers and refused to rehire them, despite a decision by the local manpower officer that the strike was legal and the strikers should be rehired. In October 2005 a labor dispute resolution committee awarded the workers two months’ salary.
On March 13, the independent Indonesian Union Federation (IUF) held a mass rally in Surabaya to demand government intervention against anti-union activities at PTPN X, and to ensure inclusion of the federation’s locals in collective bargaining at both state-owned complexes, and to reinstate IUF-affiliated Federation of Sugar Plantation and Mill Workers president Daud Sukamto, who was fired from his job at a plantation in Central Lampung in 2005 for “gross misconduct” after recommending that his union reject a management wage proposal during labor negotiations. In June the ILO’s Freedom of Association Committee concluded that Sukamto’s termination violated the right to conduct legitimate trade union activity and called on the government to reinstate him.
In August Amnesty International called on the government to release six imprisoned trade union leaders, who were arrested following a strike and demonstration at a palm oil plantation in Riau Province in September 2005.
In September the state-owned workers’ insurance company, PT Jamsostek, demoted two Jamsostek union members and transferred twelve others in connection with a union vote of no confidence in company management. More than 40 workers at a branch office in Banten staged a demonstration at the company’s main office in Jakarta, demanding the cancellation of the demotions and transfers. In October legislators called on the government to end the labor conflict. All the affected workers sued the company seeking reinstatement. At year’s end the cases were still pending.
On October 30, KSBSI filed 20 complaints with the manpower ministry on behalf of workers who claimed they had been denied the right to form unions. Many of them had been reportedly dismissed without severance payment or demoted despite their having cases pending in the labor court.
The Industrial Relations Disputes Settlement Act together with the Trade Union Act and the Manpower Act constitute the revised legal basis for industrial relations and worker rights. The Disputes Settlement Act stipulates a system of tripartite labor courts, replacing the previous tripartite committees. The act also outlines settlement procedures through mediation and arbitration. The ILO provided assistance in the development of the law. By the end of 2005, the government had established the new labor courts in all 33 provinces.
b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively
The law allows unions to conduct their activities without interference; however, the government often did not protect this right in practice. The law provides for collective bargaining and allows workers’ organizations that register with the government to conclude legally binding collective labor agreements (CLAs) with employers and to exercise other trade union functions.The law includes some restrictions on collective bargaining, including a requirement that a union or unions represent more than 50 percent of the company workforce to negotiate a CLA. The Manpower Development and Protection Act (Manpower Act), which regulates collective bargaining, the right to strike, and general employment conditions does not apply to SOEs. Although the law was written with ILO technical assistance, some unions claimed that it contains inadequate severance benefits and protection against arbitrary terminations and does not sufficiently restrict against outsourcing and child labor. The government continued to issue implementing decrees for the Manpower Act.
The government planned to revise the 2003 Labor Law to make Indonesia more competitive and attractive to foreign investors. However, labor unions voiced opposition to the plan, and on May 1, international Labor Day, tens of thousands of workers protested peacefully on the streets of Jakarta and other cities against the proposed revisions, which would have made it easier for employers to hire and fire workers by reducing severance payments and allowing companies to employ workers for up to five years without a contract. On May 3, tens of thousands of workers again took to the streets in opposition to modifying the labor law. The rally turned violent when protesters took down the main gate of the parliament compound, set fire to tires and threw stones at the police. In response, police fired tear gas and water cannons. Police also detained 13 members of the KSPSI.
On September 13, the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration announced that the government had dropped its plan to revise the labor law and instead would issue government regulations detailing termination procedures and severance payments for workers to give them more job certainty.
According to the manpower ministry, during the year there were 9,168 CLAs in effect between unions and private companies. Company regulations, allowed for under government regulations, substituted for CLAs in another 36,652 companies, many of which did not have union representation. The Manpower Act requires that employers and workers form joint employer/worker committees in companies with 50 or more workers, a measure to institutionalize communication and consensus building. However, the number of such bodies did not increase significantly after passage of the act. All workers, whether or not union members, have the legal right to strike, except for public sector workers and those involved in public safety activities. The law allows workers in these latter categories to carry out strikes if they are arranged so as not to disrupt public interests or endanger public safety. Private sector workers exercised their right to strike, as did those in state enterprises, although the latter did so with less frequency. The large majority of government-recorded strikes involved nonunion workers. Unions or workers’ representatives must provide seven days’ notice to carry out a legal strike. The law calls for mediation by local manpower ministry officials but does not require government approval of strikes. Workers and employers rarely followed dispute settlement procedures, and workers rarely gave formal notice of the intent to strike because manpower ministry procedures were slow and had little credibility among workers. The number of government-recorded strikes had declined in recent years, from 220 strikes involving more than 97,000 workers in 2002, to 125 strikes involving some 56,082 workers in 2005. During the year, the number of strikes rose to 282 involving 595,783 workers. According to the manpower ministry, the increase was due to protests of the government’s proposed labor law reform.
The underpayment or nonpayment of legally required severance packages precipitated strikes and labor protests. The Solidarity Center documented cases in which foreign employers in the garment and footwear industry, faced with falling orders and plant closures, fled the country to avoid making legally required severance payments. Labor activists also reported that factory managers in some locations employed thugs to intimidate and assault trade union members who attempted to organize legal strike actions.
At times the police intervened inappropriately and with force in labor matters, usually to protect employers’ interests. In April 2005 the national police adopted new guidelines for “handling law and order in industrial disputes,” developed with the assistance of the ILO.
On July 31, police shot labor leader Samsir Hasibuan during a labor dispute near Medan at P.T. Cipta Mebelindo Lestari, a furniture manufacturer. According to Hasibuan, police dragged him from his house after the demonstration ended. The police maintained he was shot in front of the factory gate after protesters became violent. According to Medan human rights advocates, police later coerced Hasibuan into signing a document accepting representation by a police-provided attorney by police beating on his injured knee. He and two other labor leaders remained in jail but were allowed to have their own attorney. Other strikers whom the company could identify were all fired.
In September 2005 the management of a palm oil plantation in Riau province, P.T. Musim Mas, fired approximately 700 workers for striking in protest of the termination of nine union leaders. In June the Indonesian Union of Wood and Forestry Workers signed an agreement with the company to provide severance pay to strikers, but the workers were not rehired.
On December 8, Kompas newspaper fired union activist Bambang Wisudo. Kompas claimed that Wisudo was fired on grounds that he refused a transfer to Ambon, but the Association of Independent Journalists stated that he was fired for demanding that the newspaper respect the right of employees to profit-sharing.
There are no special laws or exemptions from regular labor laws in special economic zones (SEZs). However, nongovernmental observers, including the Solidarity Center, described stronger antiunion sentiment and actions by employers in SEZs. ***