30 September 1997
Further Information on UA\970715; UA\970726
The Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union (SBSI) has been officially banned by the police since its first congress in July 1993. Currently, the SBSI has 250,000 members that are organized into 99 chapters and 12 sectoral organizations. Since its formation in 1992, SBSI's key demands and actions have aimed to improve the working conditions and the freedom of association. SBSI members are regularly harassed and arrested by the police. The Indonesian government recognizes only the pro-government Federation of Al l-Indonesian Workers' Union (FSPSI) while it represses any independent worker's organization from developing. At least four independent trade unionists have even been killed.
A young trade unionist, Marsinah, was murdered in 1993, but the inquiry has been abandoned. She was murdered after organizing a strike to demand better working conditions in a factory. Marsinah's mutilated body was found several days after the murder. The factory owners, managers and security guards were arrested and charged with the murder. They were all released, however, because of a lack of proof.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
19 September 1997: The police declare that the SBSI's second congress was "illegal" and forcibly interrupted it. The congress was attended by 200 delegates, including a few foreign trade union representatives. The police arrested 10 Indonesian SBSI unioni sts, two overseas trade unionists and two Dutch journalists.
20 September 1997: All of those arrested at the SBSI congress are released. The Indonesian trade unionists were released, however, on condition that they report to the police once a week for an indefinite period.
22 September 1997: Nike, a U.S. multinational, decides to cancel its production contract with four subcontracted factories which do not respect the minimum pay and working condition standards. This was the first time that Nike decided to cancel its contra ct with a subcontractor for not respecting its code of conduct.
23 September 1997: Eight trade union activists from the National Committee for the Fight for Democracy were arrested when they took part in a demonstration of more than 1,000 striking workers from two shoe-exporting factories outside the national Parliame nt in Jakarta. They were motivating workers surrounding the Parliament to march to the nearby Department of Labour.
The striking factory workers were from the factories PT Sindoll and PT Multi Beta Pertiwi, which produce shoes for Reebok International and Starmont. The workers were on strike demanding higher wages and better working conditions, especially in terms of f ood, transport and medical care.
Please write polite letters and faxes calling on the Indonesian government to:
1. Express concern about the riot police attack on the SBSI congress and the detention of trade unionists and labour activists;
2. Release immediately and unconditionally Muchtar Pakpahan and all other trade unionists detained solely for the non-violent expression of their views;
3. Recognize independent trade union organizations and stop repressing trade unionists engaged in organizing activities.
Please send letters and faxes to:
1. Indonesian Minister of Justice
Haji Utoyo Usman S. H.
Jl. H. R. Rasuna Said Kav. 6-7
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
Fax: (62) 21-525-3095
2. Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ali Alatas S. H.
Menteri Luar Negeri
Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No. 6
Fax: (62) 21-380-5511/360-517/345-7782/360-541
3. Chief of National Police
Maj. Gen. (Police) Banurusman Atmosumitro
Kapolri, Markas Besar Kelpolisan RI
Jl. Trunojoyo 13, Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia
4. National Commission on Human Rights
Prof. Dr. Baharuddin Lopa
Komisi Nasional Hak Azasi Manusia (Komnas HAM)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B
Menteng Jakarta Pusat
Telephone/Fax: (62) 21-392-5227
5. The diplomatic representative of Indonesia accredited to your country.
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
Asian Human Rights Commission
Wed, 1 Oct 1997
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