Indonesia’s largest coal producer, PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC), through its mine services contractor Thiess Pty. Ltd. of Australia, has brutally attacked members of two ICEM-affiliated mine unions through police and military force. The dispute dates to the fourth quarter of 2011 when miners working for KPC, part of Indonesia’s Bumi Resources, first took strike action when it became obvious that neither Thiess nor KPC intended to grant a renewal collective agreement.
But the dispute at KPC’s Sangatta mine in Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo turned violent on 24 March when 400 striking workers gathered at the coal company’s office in East Kutai district on the counsel of a local citizens group to offer themselves back to work following a second strike dating to last November.
They were immediately attacked by a regional military brigade serving the interests of Thiess and KPC. Twenty miners were severely beaten and hospitalised. Another 12 were immediately detained and throughout the night of 24 March and into the next day, police and military rounded up another four union leaders and jailed them. (for more details, click here).
The incident involved members of mining union DPP FSP KEP (Federasi Serikat Pekerja Kimia Energi Pertambangan Minyak Gas Bumi dan Umum), which is part of the larger confederation KSPI (Konfederasi Serikat Pekerja Indonesia).
Eva Kusuma Sundari of the political party PDI-P condemned the actions of the police and military in a press release.