Fri, 26 Sep 2003

Workers protest suspension

Thousands of workers from giant company PT Texmaco Group in Central Java have protested being left jobless for months, since January this year.

Their 22 representatives staged a rally at the Central Java legislative council in Semarang on Wednesday to demand that provincial authorities help resolve the issue.

They said Texmaco had suspended 2,550 workers and laid off 1,540 others during the January to September period.

The protesters, grouped under the Texmaco Workers Rescue Communication Forum (FKPKT), claimed to represent around 8,000 workers of the company.

"The worsening performance of Texmaco makes the fate of its workers uncertain, while the company's majority shares are under the government's control, through the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency," said FKPKT secretary Bambang Mulyadi.

The workers are among 8,000 employed by five of Texmaco's subsidiaries in Central Java -- PT Texmaco Taman Synthetics, Polisyndo Eka Perkasa, Texmaco Perkasa Engineering, Texmaco Jaya and Multi Karsa Investasi.

The suspended workers are paid only 75 percent of their monthly basic salaries, while those laid off were given one-month severance payment.

Bambang said other workers who are still employed have frequently received their wages 10 days late.

Daroji, one of the councillors who met with the protesters, promised that the council would hold a meeting to discuss the Texmaco labor issue next week. --JP