Fri, 05 Aug 1994

Painters seek council help over dismissal

JAKARTA (JP): Around 20 painters from an animation company lodged a protest at the City Council yesterday over the confiscation of their working facilities by the company's commissioner as an indication of dismissal by the owner.

Ramli Muhidin, one of the painters of PT Bintang Jenaka Kartun Film, told reporters that the rift between the company's commissioner, Djojo Gunawan, and the president, Syapei Patanga, had led Djojo into taking all of the company's production equipment on July 5 at 10 a.m.

"All of our equipment such as drawing tables, chairs, paints, computers, pencils and even the animation paper are gone," he said.

Ramli said that the company, located at Jl. Peta Barat No. 89 in Kalideres, West Jakarta, produces such famous cartoon series as Dora Emon, Conan the Barbarian, Willow Town and Rai and the Little Pig.

He added that the company exported most of its products to Japan and other countries. It employs 165 workers, including the 20 painters.

Ramli said that the company's president has tried to replace the equipment with local products.

"But those local things are useless, their low quality makes our works worthless," he said.

He said that although all the employees' salaries have been paid by Syapei, they still feel insecure about their employment status. He also said that he had reported the matter to the city police, the city chapter of the Agency for the Coordination of Support for National Security (Bakorstanasda) and the Ministry of Manpower. So far there has been no action taken.

"We will tell our grievances to the city councilors and we would ask them to help us return to work again," he said.

The painters were received by councilor Salam Sumangat, a member of Commission E in charge of manpower affairs.

Salam told reporters that there is an indication of covert dismissal.

"It is a classic indication which is usually practiced by some businessmen to avoid paying any severance pay to their dismissed workers," he said.

According to Salam, who is also chairman of the Jakarta chapter of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI), such covert dismissal will enable the employer to tell their employees that the company's financial condition prevents it from giving them severance pay.

He said that he will report the case to the Ministry of Manpower and ask them to take legal action against the company's commissioner. (03)