Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Workers stage protest at J&T Ekspress office overrights violation allegations

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Gusty da Costa

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Over a hundred of workers of logistic and freight forwarding company PT Global Bintang Timur Ekspress (J&T Ekspress) staged a protest at the company headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday, July 8, 2024, as a response to a series of violations of labor normative rights allegedly committed by the company.

Sunarno, chairman of the Congress Alliance of Indonesian Labor Unions (KASBI) said the alleged violations include wage cuts, layoffs, and demotions that were unilaterally carried out by the company; the implementation of work relations with partnership status; and the company’s disobedience to the Inspection Memorandum and recommendations issued by the Manpower Office.

“For more than a year PT Global Bintang Timur Ekspress has been unilaterally cutting wages on the pretext of charging claims and punishments to a number of workers with a large enough nominal, so that the wages received by workers are below the provisions / provincial minimum wage. The wages were deducted without any agreement between the two parties,” Sunarno said.

“The workers have sought solutions through Bipartite negotiations with the company, and reported the case to the Jakarta Provincial Manpower, Transmigration and Energy Agency (Disnaker). However, the company has continued cutting wages until this day,” he added.

PT Global Bintang Timur Ekspress is a company engaged in logistics/expedition under the J&T Ekspress brand, which is located at Pluit Office Tower A, CBD Complex, Penjaringan, North Jakarta. It has been operating in Indonesia since 2015, and to date has expanded services to countries like China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Mexico and Egypt.

Initially the company hired the employees under PKWT (Specified Time Work Agreement or Contract basis) eventhough the company had fixed type of employment in nature. Upon a complaint filed by the workers, the Jakarta Provincial Manpower Office issued a Special Inspection Memorandum on September 29, 2023, declaring that the company violating the employment regulation, while citing that the employment agreement should refer to the type of Permanent Work and that the company must change the workers’ employment status from PKWT to PKWTT (Permanent Workers).

“But, the company has not yet implemented the stipulations in the Special Inspection Memorandum. It should also be noted that such memorandum is legally binding because it has been stated in a ruiling of the Central Jakarta District Court,” Sunarno said.

Instead of complying with the memorandum, the company unilaterally terminated the employment of several workers who are members of the PT Global Bintang Timur Ekspress Labor Union (SPGBTE). Worse, some of them were terminated before the end of their PKWT.

The labor union has sought to resolve the dismissal dispute through bipartite negotiations and then through the tripartite submitted a dispute registration to the Jakarta Manpower Agency. Until then, mediation was carried out and subsequently a Memorandum of Recommendation was issued stating that workers who had been laid off should be re-employed with PKWTT status and paid the amount that had not been given. However, the company has so far not heeded the recommendation from the Manpower Office.

The company also demoted several workers on the basis of consolidation or results of employment appraisal. However, the assessment is not transparent. The company also unilaterally mutated some workers without clear reasons, without considering the interests and abilities of the workers, the proximity of the workers’ residence with their working place, making employees uncomfortable to work.

When the workers first joined the company, they were also required to deposit a certain amount of money that would be returned upon termination of employment. However, there are several workers who have resigned, but their deposit had not been returned by the company.

The company has yet to respond to a request for comment or clarification submitted by Indonesia Business Post as of Tuesday afternoon.

Gusty da Costa

Journalist

 

Editor

 

Interview

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