Sacked Freeport workers camp out opposite State Palace – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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Sacked Freeport workers camp out opposite State Palace

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For exactly four days scores of former PT Freeport Indonesia employees have been camped out opposite the State Palace in Central Jakarta. -CNN Indonesia

Jakarta, Jubi – For exactly four days scores of former PT Freeport Indonesia employees have been camped out opposite the State Palace in Central Jakarta. Sleeping under tents made from tarpaulin, the employees who were sacked by the Freeport gold-and-copper mine in 2017 are sleeping over with whatever equipment they have available.

One of the former employees, Jerry Yerangga, admitted that he had intentionally chosen to stay overnight opposite the Palace along with his colleagues so that they could meet with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“We are calling in [his] promise because we have already met with a majority of senior state officials. We feel that we have not obtained justice because of being sacked by Freeport”, said Yerangga when speaking with CNN Indonesia on Saturday February 9.

Yerangga said that the dismissals began during the polemic over the divestment of Freeport shares to the Indonesian government prior to an agreement being reach in late 2018.

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The former Freeport dump truck operator said that Freeport sacked around 8,300 employees. “They felt they had suffered financial losses because of problems over the share divestment with the government at the time”, he said.

Yerangga said that they have already held a number of actions in Papua however their protests have been opposed by security forces. In July last year he and his colleagues finally decided to take a ship to Jakarta to continue their protests.

In August 2018 Yerangga managed to meet with Chief of Presidential Staff Moeldoko to convey their complaints. At the time, Moeldoko pledged to immediately follow up on their complaints.

“But to this day there has been no clarity, the only parties which have been able to respond to our problem were the Ombudsman and Komnas HAM [National Human Rights Commission]”, said Yerangga.

In the end, Yerangga decided to camp out in tents in order to find a quick resolution to the problem. Over the last four days, he and 50 other colleagues have slept under tents.

They have been bathing at public toilets at the National Monument (Monas) in front of the State Palace. He is grateful because government officials and police have not prohibited the protest.

“We are grateful because here official have allowed [the protest]. We can freely convey our wishes here”, he said.

Yerangga hopes that the government will immediately follow up on their complaints although he does not know how long they will have to keep living under the tents.

“Until we get a response. Have pity on our children who can’t go to school, [or those] who have had to sell their homes to cover daily living costs”, said Yerangga.

Freeport spokesperson Riza Pratama said earlier that the thousands of former employees had been deemed to have resigned because they were absent from work.

“We followed procedures, summoned them. There as a total of around 3,500 [employees] who went on strike and failed to meet their obligations. Then, there were around 200 of them who obeyed our summons, the rest didn’t. So we deemed that they had resigned. In accordance with regulations, they were given one month’s wages [severance pay] which was transferred to their individual accounts”, said Pratama in March 2018.

The dispute with the employees however was not resolved there. It was only on December 21, 2017 that the company, the trade union and former employees, witnessed by related parties from the Ministry of Labour, were offered a new solution. (*)

 

Source: CNN Indonesia, translated by James Balowski, pmc.aut.ac.nz

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Economy

MRP traces the chronology of the dismissal of thousands of employees of PT Kodeko Papua

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MRP working group meet with the representatives of PT Kodeko Papua’s ex-workers in Serui, Yapen Islands Regency, Monday (24/2/2020). – Jubi/MRP Public Relations

Jayapura, Jubi – The working group for the indigenous issue of Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) meet with the representatives of PT Kodeko Papua’s ex-workers in Serui, Yapen Islands Regency, Papua on Monday (24/2/2020). In the meeting, the working group take not on the chronology of the dismissal of 1,435 employees of PT Kodeko Papua in 2004.

The working group chairman Demas Tokoro through MRP public relations says the meeting between the working group and workers’ representative occurred on Monday is the second meeting. “Today is our second meeting, while we had the first on 13 February,” he said.

According to him, in the first meeting, the workers’ representatives talked about the severance allowance should be paid to the workers after the termination in 2004. Meanwhile, the second meeting is focusing on learning the chronology of the dismissal.

Tokoro says that during 14 years, 1,435 ex-workers are still waiting for the company to pay their salary and severance allowance. “They tell about their long efforts in fighting their rights as ex-workers,” says Tokoro.

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Meanwhile, an ex-worker Costan Podayar said PT Kodeka Papua was a plywood company founded in 1995 and began its operation since 1997.

“In 2002, the situation changed and it claimed bankruptcy in 2004. The employees have been made redundant without receiving severance allowance. As a consequence, the company’s assets become a warrant to pay severance to its ex-workers,” said Pondayar as cited from MRP public relations.

In 2006, the workers sued the management of PT Kodeko Papua to the Tangerang District Court with a demand that the company must pay the salary and severance allowance of 1,435 ex-workers. “The Court won our lawsuit in 2006,” said Pondayar.

At that time, he says that the Court instruct those who took over the assets of PT Kodeko Papua must pay the rights of ex-workers. But, in reality, PT Sinar Wijaya who continue the operation has not paid the severance allowance to the ex-workers.

“As the ex-workers, we did not know how can PT Sinar Wijaya take over the operation because there was no announcement to us,” says Pondayar.

PT Sinar Wijaya has paid the amount of money to the ex-workers, but the payment was less than the amount that the ex-workers should receive.

“The local government has facilitated the meeting between us and the management of PT Sinar Wijaya at Kampung Awunawai Office. They paid the amount of money for us but did not give us time to read the letter that we should sign. They said it was because there were many employees in queueing to sign,” said Pondayar.

Later on, the ex-workers realised that the amount of money they received is smaller than it should. “The Court’s decision said that I had to receive IDR 32 million, but I only received IDR 15 million,” says Pondayar.

Meanwhile, Demas Tokoro said his working group would implement the mechanism by MRP to bring both representatives of ex-workers PT Kodeko Papua with the local government and the management of PT Sinar Wijaya. The working groups of women and religious issues of MRP will also attend this meeting.

“We will conduct a joint visit consisting of MRP, indigenous, religious and women’s working groups. We hope people will support us,” says Tokoro. (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

 

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Economy

Government introduces Papua’s business potential to 45 investors

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Illustration. -dailysocial.id

Sorong, Jubi – The Indonesian government in association with Yayasan Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (Green Trade Initiative Foundation) took a total of 45 foreign investors to witness firsthand the business potential in the country’s eastern provinces of Papua and West Papua.

The foreign investors met with young businessmen from Papua during a high-level meeting on green investment in Sorong, West Papua, on Thursday.

Also present at the meeting were Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan; Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo; Head of the Investment Coordinating Board, Bahlil Lahadalia, and Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, to support the Papuan businessmen to move forward.

Panjaitan said the concept of green investment or environmentally friendly investment is one of the models of sustainable development in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

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The concept of green investment is aimed at encouraging small-scale investment to promote the agricultural and fisheries sectors in the two provinces, he said.

The presence of foreign investors will encourage the export of agricultural and fishery commodities including nutmeg, cacao beans, seaweed, and other key commodities from the two provinces, he said.

The minister further asked the Papua and West Papua provincial governments to work hard and cooperate with all sectors to develop the potential in the province as part of efforts to promote the economy of the locals. (*)

 

Source: ANTARA

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Economy

Papua High Prosecutors Office investigates corruption allegation in Bank Papua

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Illustration photo. – pixabay.com

Jayapura, Friday – Papua High Prosecutors Office and Nabire District Prosecutors Office are currently investigating corruption allegation in Bank Papua Branch Paniai in Enarotali, the capital of Paniai Regency, Papua. This allegation associated with the prior case of loan distribution of IDR 281 billion for creditors.

This investigation was confirmed by the Assistant of Special Crime of the Papua High Prosecutors Office Alexander Sinuraya to Antara News Agency in Jayapura on Friday (31/1/2020).

“This case is currently under the investigation of Nabire District Prosecutors Office who in charge for Paniai Regency and prosecutors from Papua High Prosecutors Office will assist the investigation,” he said.

According to him, so far there is no suspect named in this allegation. “Hopefully the investigation becomes more in-depth shortly,” he said.

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Separately, the Business Director of Bank Papua Sadar Sebayang admits the bad loan case of IDR 281 billion in Bank Papua.

“The case that happened in 2016 is currently under the investigation of Papua High Prosecutors Office,” Sebayang confirmed.

According to him, Bank Papua had penalised the employees involved in this case, including dismissal. Sebayang also said that non-performing loan creditors had paid their instalments up to IDR 185 billion including bank interest. However, he said Bank Papua is supportive of this legal conduct by these two prosecutors offices.

“BPD Papua fully supports the current legal process conducted by Papua High Prosecutors Office,” said Sebayang. (*)

 

Reporter: Aryo Wisanggeni G

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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