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.(*)
The marketing strategy of Papuan woman traders to survive amid the pandemic
Papua, Jubi – The COVID-19 outbreak has emerged a new dilemma for everybody. On the one hand, they should restrict their activities, but on the other hand, they have to work to get income for their families.
A consumer Delia Mallo said she is very concerned about Papuan women traders at Pharaa traditional market in Sentani, Jayapura Regency during the pandemic.
“It’s so sad to see them should go home early while not many people could come to buy their commodities,” Mallo said when shopping in Pharaa Market on Thursday (25/6/2020).
The restriction during the pandemic made the traders go home earlier than usual, and people’s concern about the coronavirus transmission has increasingly impacted on the traders’ income.
“Since the emergence of COVID-19, I am worried (to stay longer in the market). After buying fish, I immediately go home,” said Mallo.
Because they have to go home early, traders reduce the price of their commodities to prevent substantial loss because of rot.
Tilapia fish, for example, is priced at half of its regular price. The fish harvested from Lake Sentani is usually sold for Rp 80 to 100 thousand per pile, but now sold for only Rp 40 to 50 thousand per pile. Each pile can weigh more than 1 kilogram.
“To be sold, so we just let it go at a low price. The important thing is we can still get money for trading tomorrow,” said Anace Suebu.
Mrs Suebu displayed her fish on a 2 x 3 meters table at the Pharaa Market, and her income has significantly decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic. “I could usually take Rp 1 million a day before the pandemic, but now it’s crushed,” she said.
As a result, she also needs to restrict her purchase. She could no longer be able to buy fish at large quantities. Her income has significantly declined, while she still has to continue spending money for daily needs.
“I told my customers to be patient. I cannot buy fish at large quantities because I don’t have sufficient money,” said the mother of four.
The new dilemma that emerged due to the COVID-19 is not only happening to Suebu but also hundreds or even thousands of Papuan woman traders. Their economy has suffered due to the pandemic.
“I used to bake (sell) twenty pieces of bread, but it’s only 15 now for Rp 15 thousand per piece,” said Karolina Fonataba who usually sells bread in the Pharaa Market.
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fonataba, a woman of Biak Numfor, had moved her business to the former Doyo Baru Market. She did it to cope with the restriction rule applied in Jayapura Regency. Because she lives near the market, she can adjust her trading time. Also, she adds another commodity to sell, namely sago, which she sold for Rp 10 to 20 thousand per piece.
“Relying on the income from selling bread is not enough (for daily needs).”
However, she could not stay longer in the new location and decided to return to the Pharaa Market by selling the same commodities, bread and sago.
“In the former Doyo Baru Market, there were even fewer consumers. It was only 5-10 pieces of bread sold (every day),” told this sixty-five years old woman.
Although she has added the items of her commodities and returned to the Pharaa Market, her income is still far lower than in the usual time. “I could get Rp 150-200 thousand in the past, but now it declines to Rp 50-100 thousand, while a sack of sago usually sold out in three days, but now it takes a week.”
To survive during the pandemic, Fonataba has attempted various ways. “I also deliver (sell) the bread from door to door. The customers can pay whenever they can.”
In the meantime, Mariche also applied a similar strategy of survival during the COVID-19 pandemic. She sells betel nuts at the former Doyo Baru Market. “Although people say the COVID-19 is dangerous, I keep selling. If not, we cannot eat.”
However, Mariche, a woman from Demta, has to deal with her stock purchase to avoid loss. “I used to buy 2-3 sacks, but now it’s reduced. I run out of money, while fewer customers come to buy.”(*)
Reporter: Yance Wenda
Editor: Pipit Maizier
MRP traces the chronology of the dismissal of thousands of employees of PT Kodeko Papua
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.
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
Government introduces Papua’s business potential to 45 investors
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.
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. (*)
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