Striking Indonesian dockers clash with police

Police outside the JICT terminal Police have been sent to the JICT terminal at the Port of Tanjung Priok to remove those on strike

Striking workers refusing to leave a workers’ rights protest at the JICT terminal in Jakarta are being evicted by police.

Hundreds of police have allegedly been sent to the terminal at the Port of Tanjung Priok to remove members of the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF) Serikat Pekerja Jakarta International Container Terminal (SPJICT) union.

ITF president and dockers’ section chair, Paddy Crumlin, commented: “ITF dockers’ unions everywhere will be backing our Indonesian colleagues with lawful solidarity action and messages of support.”

Eight-day strike

The SPJICT is striking from 3-10 August over pension rights and performance bonuses – which terminal management has been pursuing in the course of negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement.

Mr Crumlin stated: “They say that a fish rots from the head down and this wave of industrial action, coupled with other action at Tanjung Priok proves that something is seriously wrong with labour relations in at the port – something that the employers and government must remedy immediately.”

The ITF has been mobilising international support for the dock workers with other unions expressing their support worldwide on social media.

Yesterday ITF Asia Pacific tweeted a picture of BTB Union in Belgium holding up protest banners and union flags, captioned “BTB Union in Belgium express their strong support to our Indonesian dockworkers working at Hutchison and ICTSI.”

Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) has been run as a joint enterprise between Indonesian state-owned enterprise PELINDO II and global port operator Hutchison since 1999. JICT has just been granted an extension on its operating contract until 2039.

JICT extension unlawful

However, according to ITF Asia Pacific, in June, Indonesia’s Audit Board (BPK) announced that the JICT extension was contrary to local laws and is depriving the local state of potential revenue.

SPJICT chair, Nova Hakim, has issued a call for solidarity, saying: "We urge our comrades in the ITF to support our strike in defence of our national asset, and in protecting the rights of our members. This port extension is robbing the Indonesian people, and we cannot stand idly by."

The extension deal is now being probed by the Indonesian anti-corruption commission, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK). According to the union, management is using the port extension as a smoke-screen to extract more profit from the enterprise by crushing workers’ rights.

The Indonesian Port Corporations (IPC) stated on its website that operational service in Tanjung Priok was “normal”.

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