12 September 2010

Sleep-in action by dismissed WRP workers enters second week

Tribun-Medan.com - September 7, 2010

Medan -- Since August 31, as many as 55 WRP Buana Multi Corpora workers have held a sleep-over action in front of the North Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD Sumut).
(see previous news here)

The action was held to demand their rights as workers who were arbitrarily dismissed in June 2009. The workers are demanding severance pay in accordance with prevailing legislation, or to be re-employed by the Malaysian company owned by Mr. Lee Song Hong and their wages paid during the strike.

Action coordinator Marta Hutapea (35) said that after being neglected for a year and three months, the workers hope that the government will pay attention to their fate. They disagree with the company's decision to only pay severance pay equivalent to one-months wages because this was not stipulated in the employment contract.

"We will continue to the action until Lebaran [holidays at the end of the Muslim fasting month] if we have not received a response from the house. We want to be re-employed and for the company to pay the outstanding wages", said Marta at the DPRD Sumut building on Tuesday September 7.

The workers have erected tents from what ever materials were at hand and cook using wood on the sidewalk in front of the DPRD. Their children, who are still infants, have joined the sleep-over.

According to Marta, on September 1 the sleep-over action received a response from DPRD Sumut speaker Saleh Bangun 1. The DPRD Sumut promised to act on the problem and will form a special committee. But as of today there has been no communication with workers on the formation of the committee and when a special committee meeting will be convened.

"We don't know yet who will on the special committee, we need to know this. Let us hope they won't instead just bury this case", said Marta.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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