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Manado students hold solidarity action with striking ice cream workers

Tribune - November 27, 2017

Alpen Martinus, Tondano – Scores of Manado State University (Unima) students from the Student Struggle Centre for National Liberation (Pembebasan), the Minahasa Progressive Women and individual pro-democracy activist held a solidarity action at the Unima main gate on Monday November 27.

The protesters took turns at giving speeches using a megaphone while others unfurled banners and posters with demands written on them. One of the banners read, "RRT must obey Indonesian law #salam15hari Zhang Li".

The action grabbed the attention of students and local people who passed by the Unima main gate.

Pembebasan public relations officer Rudi Pravda explained that the action was held in solidarity with a strike by workers at PT Alpen Food Industry, the producer of AICE ice cream. They are demanding that the RRT (People's Republic of China) obey Indonesian law.

"Give the 644 workers who were sacked permanent jobs, abolish contract labour systems and give workers 100 percent of their wages", he said.

In addition to this, they are demanding that the company, which is managed by Zhang Li and located in the Jakarta satellite city of Bekasi, also provide paid leave and social security for workers.

"We also condemn the company PT AFI which has declared itself a sponsor of the Asian Games in the midst of a strike", he explained. They also questioned how the company values the life of a worker who lost their hand in a packing machine but was only paid 4 million rupiah in compensation.

"We demand that the company must fulfill workers' rights, and that the government must not mobilise paid thugs, police or security personnel against the strike", he explained.

Rudi added that the enjoyment people have eating AICE ice cream is not shared by PT AFI workers. "This solidarity action of ours is because without the workers we also cannot enjoy what there is at the moment", he explained.

Solidarity actions were not just held at the Unima but have taken place thought Indonesia.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Mahasiswa Pembebasan di Unima Ikut Gelar Aksi Solidaritas Dukung Aksi Mogok Karyawan PT AFI.]

Source: http://manado.tribunnews.com/2017/11/27/mahasiswa-pembebasan-di-unima-ikut-gelar-aksi-solidaritas-dukung-aksi-mogok-karyawan-pt-afi.

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