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Strike leads to dismissal of leaders (abridged)

Republika - April 16, 1997 (from Tapol)

For the second day running, 350 workers of PT Farmindo, a wood processing company, stopped work. The company is situated in Tangerang, part of the industrial belt of Jakarta. On the second day the workers showed their anger and started to attack some of the factory buildings. Their demand for a food allowance of Rp 650 had been won on the previous day but two of the strike leaders were sacked.

The workers slashed the tires of two company cars and started to break the windows of the company. The huge company sign in front of the company's building was also destroyed. The workers explained that the management had promised earlier not to sack anybody but suddenly two of their colleagues, Winawan and Sunarto, were dismissed by the management.

Another grievance for the workers was an announcement by the management pasted up in front of the main entrance. Every worker was compelled to read the announcement and then sign a statement accepting the rules of the management. Those who refused would be dealt with according to company regulations. One of the workers commented: "Why do we have to accept their rules if they refuse to listen to ideas presented by the workers".

The management called on troops from the local military command to calm down the situation.

Maryono Sumarto the general-manager of PT Farmindo claims that the two were sacked not because of their involvement in the actions but because of disloyalty towards the company.