JAKARTA May 9 A union workers' strike next week
is expected to disrupt shipping operations at Jakarta's main
port, which handles the bulk of international shipments for
Southeast Asia's biggest economy, a labour union official said.
Around 2,000 union members are expected to go on strike from
May 15-20 at the Tanjung Priok port to protest against an
affiliate of Hutchinson Ports, which the union says is bad for
the country and for workers' rights.
"We are going all out in (next week's) strike," said Nova
Sofyan Hakim, chairman of the union at PT Jakarta International
Container Terminal (JICT), adding that all port operations would
be halted during the strike.
The union opposes a decision by state-owned port operator
Pelindo II to extend an operating contract held by JICT, a
company that Pelindo II runs with Hutchison Ports to handle
container loading and unloading.
Hutchison Ports, JICT and Pelindo II could not be reached
for comment, while Indonesia's transport ministry declined to
JICT's contract was due to expire in 2019, but in 2014
Pelindo II extended it until 2039. Pelindo II's decision to
continue to partner with Hutchison drew public criticism and
parliament has been investigating the extension since 2015.
A parliamentary committee in February said it found the
contract extension to have potentially caused state losses of 36
trillion rupiah ($2.70 billion) and that it was awarded without
shareholders' approval, including the government, media
The contract is currently under audit by Indonesia's Supreme
Audit Board. Pelindo II's President Director Elvyn G. Masassya
was quoted by media last year as saying he will respect the
board's recommendation based on the audit results.
Hutchison currently controls 51 percent of JICT, while
Pelindo II has a 48.9 percent stake, according to Pelindo II's
"We are not anti-foreign investment, but the JICT extension
has been conducted without a government permit, violating laws
and bringing losses to Indonesia," Hakim said.
Government officials expressed concerns the strike could
hurt Indonesian exports.
"It's very unfortunate if they continue with this. All sides
have to solve this problem for the sake of national interest,"
said Edy Putra Irawady, Indonesia's deputy coordinating minister
Tanjung Priok port is in the middle of upgrading its annual
handling capacity to 11.5 million twenty foot equivalent units
from 5 million TEUs in 2010.
($1 = 13,327.0000 rupiah)
(Reporting by Hidayat Setiaji, Gayatri Suroyo and Cindy
Silviana; Editing by Ed Davies and Randy Fabi)