11 September 2010

Protesting workers 'spit jengkol' at ineffectual house

Waspada Online - September 3, 2010

Scores of former PT WRP Multi Corpora employees spat chewed jengkol (a pungent type of vegetable nut) at the North Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD Sumut) building during a protest action on Thursday September 2. The demonstration was in protest against the DPRD's failure to resolve a case involving the dismissal of 400 WRP workers.

"The DPRD Sumut is ineffectual, this problem has been going on for more than a year, but there have been no assurances given!" shouted action coordinator Martha Hutapea during the protest. [For Mei 2010' video documentation see: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1427334694382]
The demonstrators then brought out the jengkol that had been brought. Some chewed it and then spat it at the parliament building, while others threw jengkol at the building after the skin had been removed.
"This jengkol smells, this is a symbol of an assembly that smells, and does not prioritise the problems that befall the poor and needy, and who haven't fulfilled their campaign promises", said Martha.

Not one member of the DPRD meanwhile had the "guts" to meet with the demonstrators. The coordinator for security at the DPRD building, Sugeng, said that the DPRD members were not in the building.

According to Global's notes, the PT WRP Multi Corpora workers have demonstrated repeatedly at the Sumut DPRD. At the protest action on Thursday, the demonstrators also brought children, many of whom were thought to be less than five years old. Collectively they basked in the intense heat of the sun.

The action was trigged by PT WRP Multi Corpora's arbitrary dismissal of 400 workers on June 12, 2009. According to the demonstrators, the company management justified this on the grounds that the workers had committed violations, however they have been unable to present any evidence of this.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

Note: WRP's workers are member of The United Indonesian Labor Struggle Movement (PPBI) North Sumatera

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