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ITF Accuses Jakarta Terminal Guards of Attacking Union Member

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JICT (Hutchison Ports)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-08-22 13:50:50

According to the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF,) a member of the Jakarta International Container Terminal Trade Union (SPJICT) was assaulted by Hutchison Port Security in Jakarta this week.

Union member Rio Wijaya reported to the port's security post at around 1630 local time on Tuesday after hearing that a security guard was searching for him. Once inside the building, he was beaten by security guards, ITF alleged. He was later taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

SPJICT secretary-general Mokhammad Firmansyah condemned the alleged assault and called for an investigation into the incident. “The company guard house must not become a place for beatings and thuggery against SPJICT members. We must find out what the motive is for the persecution of our members. We will pursue this case until it is resolved," he said in a statement. 

SPJICT says that its unionists have experienced high levels of intimidation at JICT, allegedly including the use of firearms aimed at members’ cars. 

“This latest attack on Rio Wijaya, a peaceful and hardworking trade-unionist at Hutchison Jakarta, is reprehensible and once more in violation of basic worker rights. This will not be tolerated in any shape or form by the ITF or the wider trade union movement," said Enrico Tortolano of the ITF dockers section. "Hutchison needs to start respecting its workforce and engage constructively with trade unions in all their terminals, including SPJICT in Jakarta – an important ITF affiliate. Moreover, it needs to deal swiftly with this ugly incident which has no place in the 21st Century.”

Hutchison is the world's largest private terminal operator, and ITF has clashed with the company before over worker safety and collective bargaining rights. Last year, it accused Hutchison of insufficient safety management at JICT, noting the four fatalities at the terminal in 2017-18; in a response, Hutchison described the accusation as "irresponsible and insensitive."