Workers' victory! At the PT Matahari Sentosa I factory

Submitted by redtwister on December 16, 2005

Solidarity action from Front Anti Fasis (F.A.F) and Persatuan Skinhead Anti Fasis (P.S.A.F) for workers struggle on PT Matahari Sentosa I, Bandung, Indonesia.

PT Matahari Sentosa I is an export zipper factory at Bandung, Indonesia. Like all factories in this capitalistic world, the workers of the factory always placed on the bad position. That's all what the workers receive when they work in the PT Matahari Sentosa I. Low wages, bad working condition, no freedom to organize, military intervention, sexual harrasment, and another problems. So, after all of it, the workers choose to fight back, demand their basic rights.

February 3rd, 2000 - February 9th, 2000 : The First Strike

About 300 workers from the factory organized a total strike at the factory for over one week. Nobody worked, and there was no production at all. On February 8th, 350 workers went to DPRD I (a local council) to ask the council to set up a meeting between the factory owner, the workers and the council themselves. The council promised that the meeting would be held on Saturday, February 12th. Because they're already knew that the council always lie to them, the workers didn't believe what the council said. So, they planned to organized a demonstration to DPR / MPR (state parliamentary) in Jakarta.

February 10th, 2000 - February 12th, 2000 : Complained To Parliamentary

At the time before the workers went to Jakarta, the factory owner intimidated workers and threaten to sack them who still continued the strike. But it didn't make the workers gave up to the boss; around 350 workers went to Jakarta. When they went to Jakarta, lot of anarchist, punks and redskins (from F.A.F. and P.S.A.F.) joined them. We all went with 3 buses, straight to DPR / MPR building. As soon as we arrived at the building, we were set up speeches, spoke out our demands and asked to meet the parliamentarians. After around two hours waited outside, in front of the building, the parliamentarians agreed to let us in. So we all went inside. We accepted by Komisi VI (a sub-parliamentarians from some of political parties such as PDI-P, PKB, PPP and the other were from SPSI --a right wing worker union which legalized by the state and of course, they always protect the boss interest). The parliamentary agreed to set up a meeting, and the workers asked them to called the factory boss, to come to Jakarta as soon as possible. But, the boss who (of course) didn't want the meeting happen, pushed back Komisi VI to held the meeting on Monday. But, Komisi VI obeyed all the boss interest. So, Komisi VI said that there were will be a meeting on Monday, February 14th. The workers also said that they want the meeting held in February 11th, so we choosed to stay there. But the parliamentary didn't give what the workers want. The workers conditions was really bad, some of them was ill, lot of another was really tired after all of the strike before. So we all chose to go back to Bandung until Monday and continued the strike. After we all arrived in Bandung, 300 workers came back to DPRD I to asked what the council promised to us. But the council didn't give what they promised before. And they called a troop of military to bash us out brutally. Received the violent actions, we chose to left the scene and marched to one of the university. At the university, we set up a spontaneous meeting to plan when we organized the next action. In this meeting, also build a new worker union named Serikat Pekerja Buruh Matahari or S.P.B.M. (Matahari workers union).

February 14th, 2000 : The parliamentary betrayed us (again).

Because a lot of us really tired and hard to found the bus that would took us to Jakarta, only 70 workers who still went to Jakarta and some of F.A.F. and P.S.A.F. When we arrived in the DPR / MPR, we accepted again by Komisi VI. And we met with the factory boss at the meeting. After a long and boring time that we spent in the meeting, the result was bad for us. The parliamentary and the boss asked the workers to go back to work or all of us will be sacked. The parliamentary never stand on our side like what they always do, ignore the people demands. It was the worst story for us. Some of the women collapsed because of tired and the deep disappointed. When the parliamentarians seen the collapse women, they still didn't do anything to help. They let us alone there and asked us to left the building or the military forces will kick us out. So, we left the building along with our collapsed comrades. Tired, disappointed and really angry, at bus, we planned to occupy the factory on the next day until we reached out our demands.

February 15th, 2000 : The Occupation

As soon as we arrived in Bandung, we started to organized the occupy action. We called our comrades as much as we can to join our action that will start in the morning. On the morning, over 500 workers along with more anarchist, punks and redskins from F.A.F. and P.S.A.F. occupied the factory since 5.00 AM. Several punks and redskins closed the factory's front door and stayed there to prepare if the military forces would attack us. They invited everyone who passed by to join the occupy and show some solidarity. A lot of leaflets about our demands handing out around the factory and more and more people join the action. A lot of speeches and political educations were set up on the factory. We all sang together, set up discussions, shared our activities, our culture, our ideas, our vision, and our ideologies. 11.00 AM, a truck full of heavy armed military troops came down and surrounded the factory along with a lot of plain-clothes military agents. They also hired a lot of thugs to attack us. We tried so hard to defend the action. Until the night, we still have to defend from the hired thugs and the plain-clothes military agents who tried to go inside.

February 16th, 2000 : At Last, The Victory!

On the morning, the boss came to our guards and asked us if he can came inside. We let him in. He told us that he agreed to set up a discussion with the workers. So, we chose 15 workers as our representatives to talk about our demands. The discussion set up in the small room inside the factory, and some of the heavy armed military troops surrounded the room. During the discussion, we received more brutally intimidation from the hired thugs. They tried to attack us harder than yesterday. Some of us who doesn't look like a worker (i.e. punks) said if we didn't leave the factory, they would arrest us and label us as a provocateur. We didn't want to leave the factory, this was a worker's struggle, a people struggle, and this all was one struggle. No differences between labor, punk, peasant, redskin, or any other profession, as long as we received same oppression, we all should fight as a same team. So, nobody left the factory. On the defend line, a woman attacked by a hired thug with his motorcycles. The thug kicked her once, but one of our guards saved her before the thug attacked her again. Several hours later, the boss and our 15 comrades came out from the discussion room. And one of our comrades called us all to listen the final result. He read out the result loudly and we all greeted it with a song, a revolutionary worker struggle song. After we cheered each other, happy, we celebrated it with a spontaneous march along the streets. We spread out the victory to everyone we met on the street. We marched until the night came down. We were all tired, a lot of us got hurt, but at last we were all happy, we were win this battle. Our victory was just a small victory. We still have to fight the system that oppressed us day by day. We can win, only if we stand together, hand in hand, to fight back and take back our life. Solidarity is our strength. Workers unite can never be defeated.