DPS Security Workers Threaten Strike Action

Hundreds of security workers employed by Angkasa Pura Supports (APS) at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport are protesting plans to change their employment status from “permanent” to contract employees.

As reported by RadarBali.com, members of the Police, Armed Forces, Local Enforcement Agencies (Satpol PP), Community Watch (Pacalang), and Tuban Local Security Personnel (Bakamda) were summoned by APS to the Head Office of Angkasa Pura Supports on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai in Tuban when hundreds of security workers participated in a peaceful rally organized by Bali Mandiri United Workers Union (FSPM) on Thursday, 04 July 2024.

The combined security team convened by APS gathered at 8:00 am on  04 July before the Union protestors arrived at 9:30 am. The Union members initially gathered at the nearby Minang Saiyo Restaurant before marching peacefully, carrying banners, placards, and pamphlets, to the APS office, proclaiming the unfairness of plans to change workers’ employment status. 

Street Proest by APS Workers. (Tribunbali.com)

The demonstration concluded at 11:30 am following a short meeting between the union representatives and APS Management.

Following the meeting with APS Management, the Secretary of FSPM-Bali, Ida I Dewa Made Rai Budi Darsana, listed the points of protest made to the Company providing security services at the Bali Airport:

  • The employees support efforts by APS to undertake a business merger.
  • The SPM Union is seeking permanent employees (PKWT) to remain permanent employees and not have their status changed to temporary contract employees.
  • At the 04 July meeting, the Union issued a deadline of 3 days (i.e., 07 July 2024) to convene another meeting to negotiate the status of workers’ employment. 
  • If APS Management does not confirm a date for further negotiation before the three-day deadline, the Union will peacefully demonstrate again on Monday, 08 July 2024, in even greater numbers than on 04 July.
  • If APS Management agrees in good faith to meet and negotiate with the Union (SPM), the SPM will not seek assistance from the Governor, House of Representatives (DPR), or Regional House of Representatives.
Badung Regency (Bali) Manpower Department Summons Managers of APS-Bali to Discuss Growing Labor Tensions.

The union spokesman explained that the dispute with APS’ workers dates back to when the security firm decided to merge. Initially, this move was viewed positively by all parties, who saw it as sure to bring progress to all concerned parties.  

Later, the planned merger was also revealed to include unpopular plans to mutate current APS workers from “permanent employees” into the less advantageous status of “contract employees.”

In Indonesia, contract employment is considered less preferable to permanent employment status. Contract employees are not guaranteed long-term, indefinite terms of employment and can be dismissed at the end of a contract without severance pay benefits. Under Indonesian labor law, workers employed for more than three months are automatically considered permanent workers, generally limiting the maximum contract period to three months. 

Around 428 security workers at Angkasa Pura Supports (APS) are threatened with having their employment status mutated to contract workers. Another 1,200 employees working outside the security sector are also facing employment downgrades.

Subsequent reporting by NusaBali.com reveals that the Union Members of PT APS are now threatening to go on strike on Monday, July 15, 2024. This intent to strike has been relayed to the Badung Regency (Bali) Manpower Department.

The Secretary of FSPM for Bali, Ida I Dewa Made Rai Budi Darsana, related that the APS workers have requested a meeting with the Company’s shareholders.

Darsana said that any potential strike action, once commenced, would continue until workers successfully defeated efforts to downgrade union members’ work status from “permanent workers” to contract employees. Adding: “Now it’s just a matter of goodwill from the Company because AVSEC employees are not just ordinary security guards; they have expertise gained from special education as airport security guards. “They cannot be compared to other workers; they have different skills,” he stressed.

Darsama calls on the directors of APS to abandon plans to change the status of the Company’s security workers. He claims the workers have demonstrated their loyalty for decades. Demoting them from permanent employees to contract workers will degrade them and reduce their quality of life. 

Barring a positive response from APS’s Management, strike action is threatened to commence on 15 July, which could jeopardize the smooth operations at Bali’s Airport.

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