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Employers association launches army-trained security unit to deal with strikes

Tribune News - October 1, 2014

Anne Maria, Batam – The momentum of a friendly gathering with Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) general chairperson Sofyan Wanandi at the inauguration of Apindo's Riau Islands provincial leadership board (DPP) was used by the new DPP chairperson Cahya to introduce the Bima Sakti Guard.

Not just any old security personnel, the Garda Bima Sakti is a unit made up of company security guards trained as Apindo's security team. The team even presented an 'attraction' for Wanandi. They were trained by the army's infantry battalion 134 Tuah Sakti.

"We are preparing these troops as Apindo [security] guards, if we are bothered or the target of demonstrations. If there is a demonstration at company A, we will send them there, because usually those demonstrating are not always legitimate. There are also mafia. We have formed and trained [the unit] not to fight, but we urge security personnel to carry out their duties sincerely", Cahya told Wanandi, who was accompanied by Apindo's Riau Islands review board chairperson Abidin Hasibuan and advisory board chairperson Chris Taenar Wiluan.

According to Cahya, the Garda Bima Sakti are part of Apindo's greater community, to sustain Apindo and fight for employers interests by creating a favourable business climate.

"Not long from now we're entering into deliberations on the UMK [regional minimum wages]. We don't want the UMK [deliberations] to end as they always do in demonstrations, depleting our energy. Earlier we conducted a survey between January and September. The results were that the KHL [reasonable living cost index] is only around 2,011,000 rupiah a month, 2,016,000 at the most. According to regulations, the highest UMK uses the KHL as a point of reference. Meanwhile at the moment, Batam's UMK is far [higher] than the KHL", said Cahya, expressing a complained often felt by employers.


Four members of battalion 134 Tuah Sakti were shot and injured by police during a raid on an illegal fuel storage facility in Batam on September 24. Speculation is rife that the altercation occurred because the soldiers were attempting to protect the owner of the storage facility.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]

Source: http://batam.tribunnews.com/2014/10/01/apindo-kepri-bentuk-garda-untuk-mengamankan-gangguan-dan-demo.

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