Jakarta, Jubi – Two of the five victims of Thursday shooting incident in front of the Mimika Court, Mimika Regency, Papua April 20th 2017 who had been treated at Mimika General Hospital were allowed to go home on the evening.
A member of Working Unit Advocacy Team of the Chemical, Energy and Mining Workers Union (PUK SP-KEP) Tri Puspita ensured the incident took place were nothing to do with the recent Freeport issues.
“This incident is not related to the latest issue of Freeport dispute, for Freeport negotiation is handled by the existing union leaders,” Tri Puspita told Jubi via telephone on Thursday night (April 20th).
Around 1000 workers came to Mimika Court on Thursday afternoon to support Sudiro, SPSI PT FI leader. The action, according to Tri Puspita was part of the strike plan of SPSI PT. Freeport employees to commemorate International Labor Day of May 1, 2017. But the shooting incident is not related to their strike plan.
Condemn the incident
The shooting incident injured five people; four of them are employees of PT. Freeport Indonesia. According to Mimika Public Relation Public Relations, Lucky Mahakena, the four were hit by rubber bullets. They were Muhammad Faidsal (25), wounded on the left buttock, Zainal Arifin (44) wounded on the right thigh, Puguh Prihantono (39) wounded on the lower left knee and Andrian W Santoso (38) wounded on the left foot below the knee.
Tri Puspita condemns the incident. According to him, the police should have understood and implemented the basic procedures of handling protest actions toward around 1000 people in front of the court.
“We deeply regret the attitude and actions of the security apparatus, because these things should be the common procedures of the police to handle. We will ask the union central leadership to complain to the National Police to have it investigated,“ Tri said.
Reported by Antara (April 20th), the court rejected the exception proposed by the Sudiro’s lawyer, chairman of SPSI PT Freeport. The judge stated that the alleged embezzlement case of PT Freeport SPSI funds amounting to Rp3.3 billion continued to the examination stage of witnesses. These processes are rejected by the SPSI members of PT. FI.
Thursday night, Chief of Mimika Resort Police, Papua AKBP Victor Dean Mackbon, as quoted by Antara has apologized related to the shooting incident by his members at the Timika Town Court building Thursday afternoon.
“As an apparatus, we apologize for this unwanted incident, it will not happen if the workers do not break the rules. We hope the situation in Timika remains calm,” Victor said.
Following the incident, SPSI PT. FI to launch the strike is till continue.
“Because Freeport is still ignoring the people demand, we then agreed to organize strike. So today we issue a strike notice from May 1 to a month, coinciding with Mayday (international Labor Day), and “said Puspita.
The demands of trade unions for PT. FI, among others are to dismiss employee layoff processes that are inconsistent with legislation. Their strike plan will continue until it opens space and doors for negotiations. They also accused that the process is a form of union busting since it targeted the most outspoken workers.
“Employees layoff process is still ongoing; they are even offered to resign by phone. Up until now, around 700 Freeport (permanent and direct contract) workers have been layoff, together with the sub-contract can reach around 3000’s workers,” said Tri.
Tri also suspect there is an indication that the employee layoff as an ‘act of revenge’ by PT. FI against employees who involved in a mass strike movement in 2011.
“There are indications of ‘revenge’ against workers who participated in 2011 strike. Our commissioner was hit (laid off) too, it’s like ‘cleaning up’,” said Tri which is also in the position ‘waiting’ for his ‘next status’.
“This whole situation has been very uncomfortable for the workers because there is no clarity for our next status. Freeport management said they have not reached the target to lay off workers,” he said.
Related to the growing demand for PT. Freeport to be closed for auditing, Tri Puspita said the workers are ready to support if it can solve all problems caused by PT. FI.
“In principle, the workers (in relation to Freeport’s closure demands) will support if it will resolve all these issues related to Freeport. We see that Freeport is increasingly ignore and stubborn after years of profit accumulation. Freeport still does not want to compromise and submit to the laws in our country, “said Tri with a tone of annoyance.(*)