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Jakartan dockworkers call on Hutchison-owned Watsons to stand up for workers’ rights

As a result of Hutchison’s refusal to negotiate in good faith, ITF affiliate, Serikat Pekerja Jakarta International Container Terminal (SPJICT), has been forced to ramp up its campaign. Today, in Jakarta, union members and their supporters took the campaign from the waterfront to Hutchison-owned health and beauty retailer Watsons.

Paddy Crumlin, President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, and Chair of ITF’s Dockers Section issued a call to Hutchison: “In response to Hutchison’s ruthless attack on workers’ rights at the Port of Jakarta, Indonesian dock workers are hitting the streets to remind the public, and their management, that they deserve respect and dignity.

“These workers have built up Hutchison’s Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) to be one of the strongest performing terminals in Asia, continually lifting productivity to deliver sustained growth for the company, and the Indonesian economy.

“Yet, JICT management continue to crack down on union members. Workers’ wages have been cut by between 15-42% in the last three months, and union members have been specifically targeted – and their jobs threatened – for raising concerns.”

Workers are visiting Hutchison-owned Watsons’ stores today to deliver a message that Watsons’ commitment to create a “healthy and supportive environment for all employees” and provide “a working environment that is free from all forms of discrimination” should extend to all workers in the Hutchison network.

“Watsons strives to work smarter and create more value for its customers and shareholders – just like the workers at JICT. For the Indonesian public to have any faith in Watsons’ commitments, Watsons should act to help fix this situation and tell Hutchison to respect workers’ rights,” said Crumlin.

Background

JICT has been run as a joint enterprise between Indonesian state-owned enterprise PELINDO II and Hutchison since 1999. JICT was just granted an extension on its operating contract until 2039. However, in June, Indonesia’s Audit Board (BPK) announced that the JICT extension was potentially contrary to local laws and is could be depriving the Indonesian state of hundreds of millions in revenue.

The Indonesian anti-corruption commission, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) is currently considering initiating a full scale investigation into the extension. 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.

Source: International Transport Workers’ Federation

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