Unlike most of the people that spending their time with firework party and/or hanging out with friends or family during the end of the year in 2017; six union officers and three members of the National Automobile Workers Union (Serikat Pekerja Otomotif Nasional/SPON) were fired for the reason of establishing a trade union within the dealership. Management of Kharisma Sentosa, a dealer of Daihatsu Automobile, verbally fired workers without any warning nor compensation.
Read the full chronology: Union Busting in an Authorized Daihatsu Automobile Dealer
What are the efforts that have been done by the union to get back the rights of the workers? They did all they could do, from litigation to non-litigation action.
The union went through a litigation process by collecting all of the pieces of evidence on the statement of the rejection of the Workers Union existence and reported to the police and the Civil Servant Investigator South Sulawesi Province.
For putting more pressure, SPON along with Federasi Perjuangan Buruh Nasional (FPBN) hold some protests. On 28 December 2017, a protest conducted in front of dealer Daihatsu Kharisma Sentosa, Makassar. At that time the company still hold firm to its decision.
Furthermore, the Workers Union also make some serious effort to gather support from their network in international level. The Confederation of National Union (Konfederasi Serikat Nasional/KSN) organized a campaign in Japan with the help of Yokohama Action Research (YAR). An article related to the case has been translated into Japanese language and circulated on Labor Net Japan and YAR.
KSN with the help of YAR also attempts to send a request letter to the Toyota Motor Corporation Headquarter in Japan and the letter copied to the Astra Daihatsu Motor Headquarter in Jakarta. This attempt was done to hold accountable the brand holder over the violation has been done by the Daihatsu Kharisma Sentosa as a part of their supply chain.
Ultimately, good news for the workers was coming by the end of June 2018. In the meeting between the workers and company that mediated by Regional Office of Manpower and Transmigration Department on June 25 and 29, Daihatsu Kharisma Sentosa agreed to re-employ the six workers that have been fired by them.
Starting from 2nd July 2018 the six workers officially have been back to the office. Meanwhile, another three workers received compensation based on the regulation albeit not re-hired.
By re-hiring the officers and members of SPON this also means the company agree to admit the Workers Union existence which officially has been registered to the Regional Office of Manpower and Transmigration Department.
The company also willing to fulfil their responsibility towards the workers. According to the Chairperson of Federasi Perjuangan Buruh Nasional (FPBN) Hatta, related to the working status which still holds contract workers or intern that used to be questioned by the Workers Union and now has certainly been a permanent worker. Workers also will receive their outstanding payment during the ongoing case.
In the future, all sales workers of Daihatsu Kharisma Sentosa will receive wage based on city minimum wage. In addition to that, due to their consistency on this struggle, workers also will enjoy BPJS Ketenagakerjaan (workers’ social security benefit).
Workers Solidarity and International Campaign
“Congratulations on the victory of the workers! This case will be a meaningful experience if the same case will happen in the future,” says YAR activist Tono in the email.
Yokohama Action Research is Non-Government Organization based in Japan which has a concern about the employment issues in Japanese-origin companies operating in developing countries such as Indonesia.
The triumph achieved by SPON not apart from YAR support. Not only this moment has YAR assisted a case that happened in the Japanese-origin companies. This year, YAR is doing a campaign on working conditions in UNIQLO supply chain along with Java Garmindo Workers Union (SPAI-FSPMI)
YAR also support the case of mass retrenchment in Panarub Dwi Karya (PDK) shoe factory, a supplier of the Mizuno brand that happened to the members of GSBI trade union in Indonesia,
Almost simultaneously to the case which advocated by SPON-FPBN, YAR also assist the case happened to members of SEBUMI trade union in the Nanbu Plastic Indonesia, a Toyota brand supplier. At this time, a total of 28 workers have been rehired and the company also paid all the outstanding wages and religious holiday allowance which has not been paid. The Union still doing various efforts to pursue certainty of working status
Writer: Rini Kusnadi (KSN)
Editor: Rizal Assalam