Buruh kebun sawit bekerja tidak layak dan berbahaya. PT. AKL segera perbaiki kondisi kerja

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[English version below: Plantation workers work without job security and health protection. Improve working conditions at PT. AKL now!]

Endang (35 tahun) telah bekerja selama lebih dari enam tahun di perkebunan sawit milik PT. Agro Kati Lama (AKL). Sehari-harinya, ia bekerja memangkas rerumputan liar (weeding), menebar pupuk (manuring), dan pekerjaan perawatan lainnya, termasuk menyemprot racun herbisida (spraying) di sekitaran batang pohon kelapa sawit.

Bertahun-tahun bekerja, kesejahteraan hidup buruh itu dan keluarganya tidak beranjak naik—kontras dengan janji industri sawit meningkatkan kesejahteraan warga.

Ia bekerja tanpa kepastian. Ia dipekerjakan sebagai buruh harian lepas (BHL), paling banyak ia bekerja hanya selama kurang dari 15 hari dalam sebulan. Karena statusnya sebagai harian lepas, maka gaji yang diterima sangat bergantung dari berapa hari ia bekerja.

“Paling besar saya mendapat gaji sebanyak Rp. 1.600.000. Tapi jarang sekali. Biasanya sekitar Rp. 1.400.000,” katanya.

Selain mempekerjakan buruh harian lepas selama bertahun-tahun, perusahaan juga tidak memberikan perlindungan kesehatan dan keselamatan kerja (K3) dengan efektif.

Perempuan itu biasa bekerja menyemprot racun herbisida hanya menggunakan masker kain. Masker ala kadarnya itu pun baru didapat setelah ia mendesak mandor atau asisten kebun.

Pada tahun 2014, Endang mengalami kecelakaan kerja. Racun herbisida tidak sengaja tersemprot dari pompa sprayer ke wajahnya hingga masuk ke mulut. “Dampaknya saya muntah-muntah, kepala pusing, dan badan lemas,” ujarnya mengingat pengalaman buruk tersebut.

Namun, menurut Endang tidak ada kompensasi apapun yang diberikan oleh perusahaan selain satu kaleng susu cair. Ia harus membayar sendiri biaya berobat di puskesmas.

Saat ini ia menjadi tulang punggung keluarga. Suaminya, (37 tahun) saat ini tidak dipekerjakan kembali oleh perusahaan. Perusahaan beralasan suaminya tidak dipekerjakan kembali lantaran kontraknya sudah habis. Padahal suaminya telah mencurahkan tenaganya untuk PT. AKL selama bertahun-tahun.

Sementara itu, Astuti (45 tahun) mengeluhkan buruknya standar K3 di tempat kerjanya. Astuti mengeluhkan iritasi mata dan kulit yang sering dialami setiap kali Ia bekerja menaburkan pupuk. “Kalau debu pupuk kena mata dan tangan, itu perih sekali,” kata Astuti.

Endang dan Astuti adalah dua dari 900 lebih pekerja berstatus BHL di perkebunan sawit milik PT. Agro Kati Lama (AKL)—yang berlokasi di Musi Rawas, Sumatera Selatan—yang mengalami kondisi serupa. Mereka bekerja tanpa perjanjian kerja tertulis dengan perusahaan dan, alih-alih, direkrut melalui perusahaan sub-kontraktor atau yayasan alih daya.

Ada banyak sekali pelanggaran aturan ketenagakerjaan dalam UU Ketenagakerjaan No. 13 tahun 2003 yang terjadi di perkebunan PT. AKL (lebih lengkapnya bisa baca di sini), mulai dari status dan hubungan kerja yang tidak pasti, upah yang tidak manusiawi, serta buruknya standar K3.

Usaha untuk meminta perbaikan kondisi kerja sudah ditempuh. Serikat buruh independen di perusahaan, Serikat Buruh Sawit Sejahtera (SBB) telah berupaya melakukan sejumlah audiensi dengan pihak perusahaan, namun tidak ada perubahan yang berarti.

Induk perusahaan, SIPEF Group telah beberapa kali menerima surat protes kami. Namun dari tiga kali balasan surat yang kami terima, perusahaan yang bermarkas di Belgia ini selalu mengelak dari fakta pelanggaran yang ditemukan di lapangan, dan menganggap praktek ketenagakerjaan yang diterapkan telah mematuhi UU Ketenagakerjaan.

Kami menuntut agar PT. AKL, serta induk perusahaannya SIPEF Group agar memenuhi tanggung jawabnya memberikan pekerjaan yang layak dan aman. Hal yang terutama adalah memberikan kepastian kerja dengan mengangkat seluruh pekerja BHL dan kontrak menjadi pekerja tetap/ permanen.

Dukung petisi ini, mari kita sama-sama ikut menyuarakan ketidakadilan yang dialami oleh saudara-saudara kita buruh PT. AKL, dan mendesak agar perusahaan segera memperbaiki kesalahannya secara transparan.

[English version]

Endang (35 years) has been working for more than six years in palm oil plantation owned by PT. Agro Kati Lama (AKL) Every day, she works to cut weeds, apply fertilizers, and other plant-care work, including spraying toxic herbicide around the trunks of palm oil trees.

After years of work, Endang and family’s welfare have never actually improved—in contrast to the promise of the palm oil industry in bringing prosperity for local community.

Endang works in uncertainty. She is employed as ‘buruh harian lepas’ (daily-paid casual workers), where she works only for less than 15 days a month at most. Because of her casual status, her income will always depend on how many days she works in the given month.

"At most, I earn IDR 1,600,000 (USD 111). But that is a rare occasion. Usually I only earn around IDR 1,400,000 (USD 97)," she said.

The company does not only employ casual workers for years continuously, but also ignore effective occupational health and safety (OSH) standards at the workplace.

When spraying the chemical, Endang usually only wears a plain cloth mask. This simple mask will be provided only if Endang keeps demanding her supervisor or field assistant.

In 2014, she had a work accident. One kind of herbicide was accidentally spurted from the knapsack nozzle to her face and accidentally swallowed. “I kept vomiting, my head felt dizzy and I felt weak,” said Endang while recalling her terrible experience.

However, according to Endang, the company provided no compensation other than a can of milk. Endang had to pay for her own treatment at the local clinic.

Currently, Endang has become the backbone of her family. Her husband (37 years) is not employed anymore by the company. The company said that her husband was not employed because his contract period has finished—despite the fact that he had been working for many years.

Meanwhile, Astuti (45 years) complained about the poor OSH standards at her workplace. She complained of often having eye and skin irritation whenever she returned after applying fertilizers. “Our eyes and hands feel sore if the fertilizer dust is exposed to us,” Astuti said.

Endang and Astuti are two of more than 900 casual workers in the palm oil plantations owned by PT. Agro Kati Lama (AKL)—which is located in Musi Rawas, South Sumatera—who also experience the similar conditions. Workers are working without a written contract and, instead, hired through the labour outsourcing agency.

There are many violations of labour rights as stipulated in the Indonesian Labor Law (Act 13 of 2003) found in the AKL plantation (refer to this link for a more detailed information), from the uncertain employment status and relationship, meagre wages, and poor OSH standards.

There are some efforts to demand improvements on the working conditions. The existing independent union, Serikat Buruh Sawit Sejahtera (SBSS) has also tried to open a dialogue with the company, but to no avail.

The holding company, SIPEF Group has received our complaint letters several times. However, from the three times of correspondence, the company—which locates its headquarters in Belgium—tends to deny every allegation based on the fact-finding results. The company also claims that they have complied with the labor law.

We demand the PT. AKL, and its holding company, to fulfill their responsibility in providing safe and decent work. Among the important things is to provide job security by promoting every casual and contract worker to permanent status.

Let us support this petition. We shall voice out the injustice experienced by our fellow AKL workers. We urge the company to immediately and transparently improve the working conditions.

 

Best regards,

Jaringan Solidaritas Transnasional Buruh Kelapa Sawit/ Transnational Palm Oil Labour Solidarity (TPOLS) Network.