Workers Online
Workers Online
Workers Online
  Issue No 85 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 February 2001  

 --

 --

 --

.  LaborNET

.  Ask Neale

.  Tool of the Week


News

Violence Hits Indonesian Dispute

By Jasper Goss - International Union of Foodworkers

The long-running Shrangi-La Hotel dispute in Indonesia has turned nasty, with thugs attacking union officials and workers.

 
 

Muhammad Zulrahman, treasurer of the Shangri-La workers union, at the Sint Carolus Hospital Jakarta after receiving treatement for a violent assault by a goon squad linked to the owners of the Shangri-La Hotel

Since the Shangri-La hotel workers' dispute began in Jakarta on December 22 last year Indonesian trade unionists have prided themselves on their unity and their struggle within the law. At no time has any Shangri-La worker utilised anything other than peaceful methods for struggle.

However, the same respect workers had maintained for their struggle was spurned on the afternoon of 19 February, 2001. Mr Muhammad Zulrahman, peacefully demonstrating at a Shangri-La Hotel picket, was grabbed away from his colleagues and assaulted by a goon squad linked to the owners of the Jakarta Shangri-La Hotel.

Mr Zulrahman is treasurer of the union at the hotel and an active supporter of the campaign to win Shangri-La workers their due rights under Indonesian law. The impunity with which the goon squad acted and the injuries sustained by Mr Zulrahman (severe bruising to the head, cuts, torn lips requiring stitching and missing teeth, see photo) clearly demonstrate that Shangri-La workers are now being targeted for violent reprisals.

Mr Zulrahman was saved from further beatings when two Shangri-la workers and a street worker saw the attack and intervened to save him. The three workers were also able to capture one of the attackers, a Mr Kaleb Ehanusa (see photo), who was later questioned by police, but claimed that Mr Zulrahman provoked him. Mr Kaleb, contradicting witness statements from three workers, also claimed that no one else took part in the violent assault on Mr Zulrahman.

Mr Kaleb Ehanusa, has been witnessed as acting as bodyguard for Mr Lyman (the founder of the Lyman Group), his son, Mr Osbert Lyman (the man in charge of Lyman Group investments at the Shangri-La Hotel), and Mr Tigor, personnel manager of Shangri-La.

The Real Terrorists?

Robert Kuok, billionaire Hong Kong share-holder in the Jakarta Hotel and boss of the five-star Shangri-La chain throughout Asia, recently visited Melbourne, Australia, to check on his proposed Docklands development which faces union opposition and possible boycotts if the dispute in Jakarta is not properly resolved. At the time of the visit it was suggested that the Shangri-La workers were terrorists and note real unionists.

Obviously, this was a rather unusual definition of the word terrorist.

No Shangri-La worker has ever kidnapped anybody. No Shangri-La worker has assaulted anybody. Yet, gangsters linked directly to the owners of the Shangri-La Hotel are now attacking with impunity workers engaged in peaceful struggle. Who are the real terrorists?

The IUF, the international federation of unions covering the hotel sector, has worked with its affiliate, the Indonesian Independent Hotel Workers' Federation (FSPM), of which the Shangri-La Hotel Union is a member, to draw international attention to this struggle.

Ma Wei Pin, IUF Asia & Pacific regional secretary, notes that "the owners and managers of the Jakarta Shangri-La have to understand that anything they do, any violent attack they make on workers will be known internationally the second it happens. They cannot avoid taking full responsibility for violent and brutal assaults on workers."

"If the management and owners of the Shangri-La think they can continue to act with impunity and that peacefully demonstrating hotel workers are targets for reprisals then they fail to understand the new world of global labour solidarity."

"The IUF continues to support the Shangri-La workers in their protracted struggle for dignity and basic workers' rights with every means possible. IUF affiliates and sister labour organisations around the world, such as the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), will continue to draw attention to any act which contravenes the rights of the


------

*    Visi the IUF

*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 85 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Tony Abbott – Workers' Friend?
The new Workplace Relations minister relives his own union background and explains why he’s really just another worker at heart. Honestly.
*
*  Politics: The Politics of Petrol
Australia might be burning, but is it a fire that can be brought under control?
*
*  Organising: The Battle of Campsie
SDA delegate Maria Kavaratzis recounts how the Campsie Big W has been transformed into a union shop.
*
*  History: Scabbing Through the Ages
Neale Towart looks back at how popular culture has treated those workers who have not considered themselves part of the collective.
*
*  International: Diary of a Showdown
The Korean Metal Workers Federation recounts a week which culminated in violent attacks on workers outside the Daewoo factory.
*
*  Economics: Debt Dumping Campaign Enters New Phase
The millennial deadline might have passed, but Jubilee 2000 is not giving up the fight for debt cancellation for the world’s fifty-two poorest countries.
*
*  Health: The Real Drug Wars
As Africa attempts to deal with the HIV crisis, access to the medicines that can relieve victims’ suffering is emerging as a major humanitarian issue.
*
*  Satire: Liberals Claim Triumph in Queensland
John Howard has claimed the Liberal Party’s decimation in Western Australia and Queensland as a triumphant vindication of his party’s embracing of the national competition policy.
*
*  Review: Beyond a White Australia
As we ponder the One Nation renaissance, a new book challenges the current debates around xenophobia and the perceived threat of danger from Asia.
*

News
»  Labor To Move on Outsourcing Scams
*
»  Opera Workers Join Freeloader Chorus
*
»  Independent Eyes for Asbestos Deal
*
»  Employment Records Must Be Protected
*
»  Workers to Float Down Oxford Street
*
»  Competitive Tendering Hits Welfare Sector
*
»  Violence Hits Indonesian Dispute
*
»  Locked Out, ‘Cause The Boss Won’t Talk
*
»  New Laws To Protect Carers
*
»  Acoustic Shock Cases Tip of the Iceberg
*
»  Teachers Fed Gives Free Membership to Students
*
»  Miners Union Calls for ‘Community Dividend’
*
»  Hanson's Nursing Plan Bad for Health
*
»  Refugee Plight Focus of NESB Network
*
»  Unions Pause On New Safety Laws
*
»  Heavy Handed Tactics Leave Speedo Workers Exposed
*
»  Activists Notebook
*
»  Vale: Charlie Fitzgibbon (1922-2001)
*

Columns
»  The Soapbox
*
»  The Locker Room
*
»  Trades Hall
*
»  Tool Shed
*

Letters to the editor
»  No Shrinking Violet
*
»  Service Fees a Cop Out
*
»  Not Quite Right on Discrimination
*
»  Explaining it to Pauline
*
»  The Canada Bay Debacle
*

What you can do

Notice Board
- Check out the latest events

Latest Issue

View entire latest issue
- print all of the articles!

Previous Issues

Subject index

Search all issues

Enter keyword(s):
  


Workers Online - 2nd place Labourstart website of the year


BossWatch


Wobbly Radio



[ Home ][ Notice Board ][ Search ][ Previous Issues ][ Latest Issue ]

© 1999-2000 Labor Council of NSW

LaborNET is a resource for the labour movement provided by the Labor Council of NSW

URL: http://workers.labor.net.au/85/news4_bash.html
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

[ Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Credits ]

LaborNET is proudly created, designed and programmed by Social Change Online for the Labor Council of NSW

 *LaborNET*

 Labor Council of NSW

[Workers Online]

[Social Change Online]