Urgent action: APP threat to use military to break paper workers strike

The global paper and pulp company Asia Pulp & Paper APP are threatening to use the military to break a strike by the Indonesian Paperworkers Union – FSP2KI. APP is one of the world’s largest paper and pulp manufacturers.

The union FSP2KI is affiliated to IndustriALL, the global manufacturing union.

The details of the strike and the threat to bring in the military are contained in the letter which can be cut and pasted and sent to the company and the union. Don’t forget to fill in the name of your union.

You can find out more about the strike by clicking here.

Draft letter:

Teguh Ganda Wijaya
President Director of Asia Pulp & Paper Indonesia

Copy to FSP2Ki nelsonfsaragih@gmail.com

Dear Sirs

I am writing to express my extreme concern following reports that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has threatened to use security forces against employees if they exercise their fundamental right to strike.

I have been informed by the Federation of Indonesia Pulp and Paper Workers Union (FSP2KI) that one of their member unions, Pindo Deli Paper Workers Union (SPK-PD), represents workers at PT. Pindo Deli Mills Karawang, part of PT. Pindo Deli Pulp and Paper Mills, which is one of the companies within the APP group of companies.

I have also been informed that negotiations for a new labour agreement between SPK-PD and PT. Pindo Deli Mills Karawang began on December 20th and have been contentious. I have further been notified that SPK-PD announced that it plans to carry out a strike on January 28th – February 28th, 2013 on account of a failure to reach a new labor agreement. Finally I have been informed that, in response to this announcement, management of PT. Pindo Deli Mills Karawang threatened employees that they would respond to the strike with the use of security forces such as the military and police.

As you know, it has long been established that workers have a fundamental right to strike. The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work includes the right to freedom of association. The right to strike has been recognised internationally as an intrinsic corollary to the right to freedom of association and as a fundamental right of workers and their organisations.

Responding to a strike with the use of security forces is a clear and gross violation of workers’ fundamental right to strike. Even threatening to respond to a strike in this way shows a blatant disrespect for workers’ fundamental rights and jeopardizes their ability to effectively exercise those rights.

Furthermore, unions around the world regard the right to strike as essential to their functioning and will use all legal means necessary to defend it.

If APP uses security forces against a strike by FSP2KI, I will request that my union, ————- launch a campaign against APP and do everything to defend the strikers.

I will ask that we scrutinise APP’s certifications and accreditations that include any provision concerning social responsibility and to work to have those certifications and accreditations rescinded.

I will also campaign to assess APP’s major brands and ways to connect those brands in consumers’ minds with gross violations of human rights. I will request that my union coordinates these efforts with IndustriALL and their affiliated unions around the world.

On its website, APP includes in its Mission, Vision and Values statement that a key tenet of its philosophy is that “Human resources is the key to success.” I am are sure that you would agree that using security forces against workers for exercising their fundamental rights is not a way to foster the development of human resources.

I urge APP to rescind any threat to use security forces against workers, and to enter into good faith negotiations with SPK-PD in order to reach a fair new labour agreement.


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