Labour representatives have filed a complaint to the Papuan Representative Office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM Papua) against their employer PT Tandan Sawita Papua (PT TSP) regarding unfair labour conditions (see photo, source: Jubi). According to the complaint, the Indonesia palm company PT TSP has allegedly been employing workers as day labourers without a working contract for a period of up to twelve years. Most of them are indigenous Papuans. Repeated demands to provide contracts for these workers have not been responded to by the company. The workers have repeatedly shared their situation with the Keerom Labour Department since 2015. As of today, the government agency has not raised the issue with the company.
About 1,000 workers at the PT TSP plantation continue to work without having access to health insurance and social security. According to labour representatives, their salaries depend on targets set by the company. These workers have no right to paid leave and only receive payment for the days they are present at work. The workers lack any protection in case of sickness or work accidents. “Some of the workers were asked only for their identity cards and family cards when they applied for the work. The company employed them as day labourers, the majority of whom are native Papuans. They do not have any clear employment status”, explained Frits Ramdey, the Komnas HAM Papua chairperson.
PT TSP has been accused of fraudulent engagement with local indigenous communities in Arso since 2014. The allegations go from broken promises to improve the infrastructure, including health and education facilities for local communities, to pollution of clean water resources. The PT TSP plantation is located in the Arso District of Keerom Regency, Papua Province, where the company has been operating since 2008 with an area of around 18,000 hectares under cultivation.
Corporate Social Responsibility towards local indigenous communities and their workers remains no more than a slogan for the company. PT TSP joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) on 6 April 2011. The UNGC is the world`s largest sustainability initiative encouraging companies to align business strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour rights and environmental conservation.
Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Arso (-2.851895, 140.824172)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Keerom Regency, Arso District
total number of victims: hundreds
period of incident: 1.1.2010-13.7.2022
perpetrator details: PT Tandan Sawita Papua (PT TSP)
Issues: labour rights, indigenous peoples, business & human rights
Sources: PT Tandan Sawita Papua: A portrait of how an Oil Palm Company Insults Communities (awasmifee.potager.org)
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