IWMD 2022 : Workers in the “City of Guardians” Initiate Actions Awaken Empathy
Demak (28/04/2022), The history of the labor movement around the world is identical with the struggle for human rights by workers. The victory of the right to the 8 hour working time limit has been obtained followed by the economic rights attached to it.
Even though it has been won, the essence of the 8-hour workday struggle, which was originally a desire to restore humanity, is further away and simplified only with respect to wages and economic rights. In 1989, a large-scale campaign to commemorate the International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) began. This warning is intended as an effort to restore the essence of humanity in the labor struggle.
In Indonesia, the IWMD commemoration began to become one of the issues of the labor movement campaign since 8 years ago by various labor unions. Exactly this year, the IWMD commemoration was also carried out by a GEBRAK (Demak Labor Movement) The alliance of labor unions in the city of Demak, Central Java, GEBRAK (Demak Labor Movement) The alliance of labor unions in the city of Demak, Central a city known as the city of the city of guardians.
One of the demands made by the workers in their action was to urge the government to take firm action against OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) Rights violators. The phenomenon of accidents and occupational diseases that continues to increase and only a few are formally reported is said to be evidence of the government’s weakness in taking firm action against companies that violate OSH rules.
“Every year the number of workplace accidents & incident report continues to rise, occupational diseases are reported as common diseases, the government continues to evade because of the small number of supervisors. The Labor Union wants to help, but it is made as if it is not their field of expertise. There is no empathy for the humanitarian disasters that occur in factories and other workplaces,” said Ari, Chair of the OSH Fighters Forum.
In a report published by the Ministry of Manpower, the number of work accidents and occupational diseases recorded in 2020 was 225,000 cases, while in 2021 there were 82,000 cases. Quoting one OSH expert, Joko Prioyono, it was said that with the case fatality ratio (CFR), of 2%, at least 3,000-4,500 deaths occurred in the 2018-2019 range (quoted from HSpedia.com). Meanwhile, the ILO Indonesia said that the most people who experienced work accidents were between the ages of 20-25 years, as written by Jawapos.com (28/4/2022).
“If we look at BPJS Employment’s financial report for 2021, it means that the incident occurred in 2020, there were 234,370 cases of work accidents that were claimed. This is an increase from the previous year which amounted to 221,740 cases. The value of the claim is 1.79 trillion in 2021, up 0.54 trillion from the previous year. But this data is only an iceberg phenomenon from what actually happened,” said Samsuri, Head of the Advocacy Division of Lion Indonesia.
In this IWMD commemoration, GEBRAK who led the action of workers from the Nusa Building Industry (NBI) Labor Union, SP PT. AROMA KOVI, SP KEP ALFATAMA COPYRIGHT INTI, SP KAHUTINDO SANIHARTO ENGGALHARJO, SP KEP SURYA RENGGO CONTAINER, SP KEP RECKITT BECNH KISER, SP KEP BAHANA BUANA BOX, SP KAHUTINDO KCUN, SP RIMBA BUANA, SP KEP ASIA. SP KEP ARISA MANDIRI, with the theme “A Safe Workplace For All.”
“This year’s Ramadhan is historic for us. Today we are not just fasting but we are also conveying a message of mourning and respect for the comrades of workers who are victims of accidents and occupational diseases throughout Demak and Indonesia,” said Jangkar Puspito, Chairman of the DPC SP KEP KSPI.
He explained that although he had only participated in the IWMD commemoration this year, he called for this kind of commemoration to continue. According to him, this is important for workers and the wider community to remind the importance of occupational health and safety as human rights which the state should not delay in fulfilling.
He further explained that every day workers in Indonesia are faced with the dangers of exposure to toxic and hazardous materials in the workplace, long working hours, and the lack of availability of personal protective equipment needed by workers. This condition is further exacerbated by the lack of basic knowledge of OSH owned by the workers and the demands for wages that keep workers away from realizing the importance of healthy and safe work.
“Government policies never seem to favor workers as the building blocks of this country. The number of victims of work accidents and those who are sick is in the hundreds of thousands. But for workers who are injured and sick due to work, everything seems to be considered a normal thing. The government that cares about the humanitarian victims of the Russo-Ukrainian war should also care about the OSH victims that happen every day,” said Mansyur, the coordinator of the IWMD action.
Dozens of workers unfurled various banners voicing their concern for the victims of work. “Labourers Sell Energy Not Lives, Workers Are Not Machines, Safe Workplaces for Everyone”.