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Workers shutdown industrial zone after house passes mass organisation bill

Berita Satu - July 2, 2013

F-5/YUD, Jakarta Ė Hundreds of workers held a sweeping action in the Pulogadung Industrial Zone in East Jakarta on Tuesday July 2.

The action by the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) and the Confederation of Prosperity Labour Unions (KSBSI), which are part of the Indonesian Trade Union Council (MPBI), was held following the enactment of the Draft Law on Mass Organisations (RUU Ormas) at a House of Representatives (DPR) plenary meeting a short time earlier.

While the protesters gave speeches and shouted slogans rejecting the RUU Ormas, other workers entered factories one by one to invite workers to join the demonstration. Initially they were chased away by security personal at several of the factories however after negotiations workers who were still on the job left the factories and joined the protest.

"We held the sweeping action at around 2pm. Prior to this along with workers from other areas, we held an action in front of the DPR building. After the results of the vote at the DPR decided to enact the RUU Ormas, we immediately went back to the [industrial] zone and invited workers to shutdown the area", said Ruli, one of the action coordinators from the Pulogadung Industrial Zone.

Ruli said that in addition to the Pulogadung Industrial Zone, simultaneous actions were held by workers form the MPBI at industrial zones in other areas. This was to demonstrate workers' seriousness in rejecting the RUU Ormas.

"After it was enacted, the MPBI Presidium took a decision and instructed workers to shutdown all [industrial] zones, including Bekasi, Cikarang, Tangerang, Karawang and Purwakarta. This covers the industrial zones in the Jabodetabek [Greater Jakarta] area. The instruction was also followed in all industrial zones in other areas", he said.

After holding sweeping actions at around 200 of the 400 factories in the Pulogadung Industrial Zone, the workers, who numbered around 700, were instructed to stop the action after the MPBI Presidium was invited to meet with the DPR.

"Because there will be another meeting, we have temporarily stopped the sweeping actions and [factory] closures in this area. We have swept almost half of the factories in the area", he added.

Ruli explained that the workers strongly object to the enactment of the RUU Ormas over concerns that the law will prevent workers and the public from forming associations and conveying their wishes. Yet one of the principle tools of the labour struggle is through trade unions and street parliaments.

"It is no longer the era to fight it out at the negotiating table, because [agreements] always get overturned", he explained.

The workers disbanded at around 5pm. "For today, our struggle is over comrades. If the government is still determined to enact the RUU Ormas (sic), we will hold even bigger actions", said one of the action coordinators using a megaphone from atop the command vehicle.

[RUU Ormas Disahkan, Buruh Tutup Kawasan Industri Pulogadung - Berita Satu. Selasa, 02 Juli 2013. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]

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