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Women workers sweep factory preventing employees from joining May Day

Tribune City News - May 1, 2013

Mohamad Yusuf Ė Scores of women furnished with bamboo sticks held a sweeping action at the company PT Hangsai 3 in the Cakung Nusantara Bonded Zone (KBN) in Cilincing, North Jakarta on May 1.

The women, who came from the Bambu (Progressive Labour Front) Squad, each carried two 30 centimeter lengths of bamboo.

They entered the factory grounds as a group carrying the bamboo sticks then struck them together creating a drumming rhythm. Moreover, because negotiations with the factory management were becoming difficult, the workers demolished a 1.5 metre high fence surround the factory.

The sweeping action was carried out because the company management refused to allow its workers to leave the factory to join a May Day demonstration by workers from the Cross Factory Labour Forum (FBLP).

"We asked that employees at the factory [be allowed to] participate, we asked for 500 people but were only given 100. We will be continuing the sweeping action", said FBLP negotiation team member Richi, when speaking with Wartakotalive.com at the factory on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile North Jakarta municipal police chief Senior Commissioner Mohamad Iqbal arrived at the scene to mediate between the demonstrators and the company. "Today is a labour anniversary, labour day, we ask for understanding, allow [us] to maintain the peace", Iqbal told the management.

The owner of the factory meanwhile, Noh, insisted on holding the employees at the factory. "We've released 100 people already, we're currently chasing an export [order]", Nor told representatives from the demonstrators.

As of going to print, the sweeping action was continuing. The demonstrators plan to move off to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta to join up with other workers commemorating International Labour Day.

[Pasukan Bambu Lakukan Sweeping Pabrik di KBN Cilincing - Wartakotalive.com. Mei 1, 2013. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service. See also: Women's groups establish movement to combat sexual violence, rape - Okezone. April 19, 2013.]

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