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Outsourced PLN workers threaten to turn off Jakarta’s lights
Publication Date : 24-09-2013
Electricity company PT PLN’s outsourced workers, who recently threatened to strike if they were not promoted as permanent employees, are increasing the pressure on PLN by threatening to switch off Jakarta’s electricity, an action that could see them face legal prosecution.
“If PLN doesn’t fulfill our demand by the end of October, we will turn off Jakarta’s electricity,” field coordinator of the Joint Movement of State-Owned Enterprises’
Outsourced Workers, Yudi Winarno, told reporters at the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) office in Central Jakarta on Monday.
A member of the Indonesian Muslim Workers Union, Mas’ud, was quoted by tribunnews.com as saying outsourced workers could switch off the electricity because one of them was holding the key to Jakarta’s relay station.
However, PLN’s senior corporate communications manager, Bambang Dwiyatno, downplayed the workers’ threat. “They will not be able to switch off Jakarta’s electricity.
It’s not easy to obtain the key to the central electrical relay station.”
He claimed he had no idea about the threat.
“I’ve just learned they are making such a threat. Purposefully switching off electricity is an illegal act,” he told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said the outsourced workers would be subject to the law if they carried out their blackout threat.
“Anyone who purposefully harms public facilities by, for example, switching off electricity will be charged under Article 51 of Law No. 30/2009 on electricity, which carries a maximum penalty of five-years’ imprisonment and a fine of 2.5 billion rupiah [US$218,627],” he said.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama called on the outsourced workers to convey their demands in ways that would not harm the public interest.
“They should write a petition or stage a rally, not make threats. If they keep on escalating their threats, they could threaten to bomb Jakarta.”
He said the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry, PLN as well as the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry should take responsibility and solve the outsourced workers’ grievances.
Yudi alleged that PLN was violating Law No. 13/2003 on manpower by outsourcing its core business and not providing health allowances for its outsourced workers.
“One outsourced worker who died recently of electric shock, for example, never had any allowances from PLN,” he said.
Bambang said the company was always willing to conduct negotiations and dialogue with the outsourced workers.
He claimed, however, that there was little PLN could do about the workers’ employment status because the firm only signed contracts with their respective outsourcing agencies.
“We have signed contracts with the agencies, not with the workers. We are only using workers provided by them. The agencies are responsible for the workers’ salaries and allowances,” he said.
PLN labor union members from its Central Java and Yogyakarta branches threatened to shut down electricity simultaneously on Oct. 27, the company’s anniversary, if the company went ahead with its plans to fire all its outsourced workers on Oct. 31.