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Women workers in East Java commemorate 20 years since Marsinah's murder

Kompas.com - May 8, 2013

Achmad Faizal, Surabaya Ė Scores of women workers from various different groups in East Java held an action on Wednesday May 8 in the provincial capital of Surabaya to commemorate 20 years since the death of Marsinah, a women worker who was murdered on May 8, 1993.

The protesters scattered flowers in front of the office of the PT Catur Putra Surya (CPS) offices in the Rungkut Sier factory complex area of Surabaya, the company where Marsinah used to work.

In addition to scattering flowers, the workers also handed out flowers to pedestrians and held a prayer procession and a moment of silence for Marsinah. At the end of the action, the workers placed a wreath of flowers with Marsinah's photograph at the PT CPS office door.

Action coordinator Tiolina Dameria said that they hoped that the action would trigger enthusiasm among workers, particularly women workers, to continue fighting to realise the normative rights for workers in their workplace.

"Marsinah is indeed dead, but I am sure that there other Marsinahs who have an even stronger spirit of struggle to [fight for] workers' welfare", she said.

During the action the workers also read out several demands to related parties such as the company, the government and security forces. The demands included a call to fully resolve Marsinah's murder, an end to all forms of workers' slavery, protection for women workers and an end to the involvement of the TNI (Indonesian military) and police in industrial disputes.

"We are also urging the government to make May 8 an annual holiday for Marsinah", said the East Java Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI) activist.

Marsinah, a labour activist with the watch company PT CPS, was found dead having suffered terrible injuries in a farmers' shack near the Wilangan Nganjuk forest after being declared missing three days earlier. To this day, the identity of Marsinah's killers remains a mystery.

[Buruh di Jatim Peringati 20 Tahun Kematian Marsinah - Kompas.com. Rabu, 8 Mei 2013. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service. See also: The fight for workers' rights in Indonesia.]

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