Sat, 13 Mar 1999

25 job seekers complain against manpower supplier firm

JAKARTA (JP): About 25 job seekers accused manpower supplier PT Luhur Asaprima on Friday of swindling them of registration fees and other costs for transportation as overseas workers in Taiwan.

They brought their grievance to the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute over payments they said ranged from Rp 13 million (US$1,444) to Rp 14 million, institute lawyer Rita Olivia said.

The people, who were not sent abroad, claim to have frequently requested reimbursement, she added.

"We will soon report the firm to the city police for the alleged swindle."

The people also plan to visit the Ministry of Manpower to request a reprimand and stern penalty for the firm.

According to manpower regulations, Rita said, a manpower supplier firm is not allowed to request any payment from workers to be sent overseas.

It is only allowed to receive payments from foreign partners or foreign companies who need Indonesian workers, she said.

Company executives could not be reached for comment on Friday.

One of the job seekers, Haryono, said most of the unemployed people came from Tulungagung in East Java and paid the money to the firm as soon as they arrived in the city in January.

He said the firm promised to send them to Taiwan as factory workers in the middle of January.

"Up to now we are still here, and we demand our money back."

The group also demanded the company pay an additional Rp 5 million each for living expenses during their two-month stay in the capital, he said.

He said the people were temporarily accommodated in the firm's three dormitories in Duren Sawit and Kampung Melayu, both in East Jakarta, and Pondok Gede in Bekasi.

Many of them sold motorcycles or plots of farmland to make the payments, he added.

Rita acknowledged many job seekers visited the institute to seek legal advice concerning problems with manpower supplier firms or overseas employers.

She said job seekers were promised jobs mainly in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Complaints ranged from problems with payment from foreign employers to abuse, she added. (jun)