Judge Accused of Stalling Labor Dispute Case
A legal aid foundation has accused an Industrial Relations Court judge of intentionally stalling a case.
Judge Bernard was accused by the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) of purposely delaying a case involving 1,300 former Panarub Dwikarya employees.
The company, which produces sports shoes for Adidas, Specs and Mizuno, had laid off 1,300 workers after they staged a protest in July demanding the company raise their Idul Fitri allowance, which they deemed too small compared to their contribution to the company.
This demand was fueled by a working system change in the company a month earlier. The new system required a single worker to perform the job of three, giving them almost no time for meal or prayer breaks.
“The workers were required to produce 150 pairs of shoes per hour. It was difficult because the workers had hardly any time to eat their lunch or to perform their prayers or even to take a very short break,” said Rudi H.B. Darman, chairman of the Indonesian Labor Association Movement.
Rudi said that after the demonstrations, the company called on the workers to return to work. However, when some 200 workers turned up, management forced them to stand in the sun for the whole day while they yelled and even spat on them.
LBH said Judge Bernard had stalled the case for four months without any solution.
Sudiyanti, one of the LBH advocates for the workers, said that Bernard, who was acting on behalf of the company, often took part in workers’ activities and positioned himself as the mediator for Panarub’s labor union to discuss the sectoral minimum wage.
LBH said that Bernard violated the code of ethics and had reported him to the Judicial Commission for acting on behalf of his personal capacity and for issuing statements that were biased.
“We have submitted additional evidence to KY [Judicial Commission]. Based on the information we obtained, KY will follow up the case because it’s a violation of the code of ethics. We’ve also included evidence in the form of photos and e-mails that linked him to the case,” Sudiyanti said.
Sudiyanti said that LBH had turned to the House of Representatives for help and agreed to mediate with the Tangerang-based company. LBH also accused the Tangerang Labor and Transmigration Agency of working too slowly.
“The problem experienced by the workers had been reported to the Labor and Transmigration Agency a long time ago but there was no response. That’s why the workers decided to protest,” he said.