Human cage, NU labor union condemns Langkat regent's inhuman acts

Kam, 27 Januari 2022 | 18:13 WIB

Human cage, NU labor union condemns Langkat regent's inhuman acts

(Photo: NU Online)

Jakarta, NU Online

The Vice President of the Central Executive Board of the Confederation of Nahdlatul Ulama's Indonesian Muslim Workers Unions (DPP K-Sarbumusi NU) Sukitman Sudjatmiko strongly condemned the use of human cages by the Regent of Langkat, Terbit Rencana Perangin Angin for his oil palm plantation workers.


"Condemning and denouncing the actions of the Regent of Langkat who made human cages and enslaved palm oil workers," Sukitman told NU Online here on Thursday (27/1/2022).


Sukitman said that the regent's act was inappropriately for violating the Manpower Act, Number 21 of 2007 concerning the Eradication of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons, and human rights.


“Palm oil workers are not treated like workers. They seem to be exploited and this is called modern slavery. This is clearly a violation of existing laws and regulations," he said.


He said, palm oil workers often get unfair treatment. Many of their rights are not fulfilled by the company. For example, the right to a living wage with reference to a minimum salary in accordance with the provincial minimum wage (UMP) and the right to leave.


“There are still so many wage violations where almost all palm oil workers or laborers are paid below the minimum wage. Not to mention that many do not get annual leave entitlements, and employ workers or underage workers. In addition, there are also many workers without work agreements," he explained.


This, continued Sukitman, was not in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations as stated in the Government Regulation (PP) Number 35 of 2021 concerning a Specific Time Work Agreement.


He considered that the finding of the human cage case for oil palm workers was an iceberg phenomenon. For this reason, Sukitman asked the police to immediately and thoroughly investigate the case. He also asked the Labor Inspector to immediately intervene to supervise all palm oil companies.


"I ask all parties to take care of each other and condemn every form of modern slavery under any conditions and situations," he said.


Meanwhile, the Head of the Advocacy and Legal Division of the Movement Lecturer Association, Muhtar Said emphasized that it was obligatory for the police to follow up on investigations related to the human cage case.


“Investigations are also on people who are related to or who manage the cage. It is certain that the Langkat Regent himself does not manage it but involves other people," explained the lecturer at the Jakarta Nahdlatul Ulama University (Unusia).


The non-governmental organization that observed migrant workers or Migrant Care previously reported the findings of a human cage belonging to the Regent of Langkat, Terbit Rencana Perangin Angin to the National Human Rights Commission (Komnasham) on Monday (24/1/2022).


The human cage is located in thebackyard of the Terbit's house, North Sumatra. The findings were revealed shortly after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) caught Terbit in the Operation Catching Hands (OTT).


There are two cells inhabited by about 40 palm oil workers who work on the Terbit's oil palm plantations.


Previously, a NU Online search found a video on the Youtube channel belonging to the wife of the Inactive Langkat Regent, Tiorita Rencana, which was uploaded on March 27, 2021, explaining the reason for the cage.


In his statement on the video, Terbit Rencana Perangin Angin said that the cage was made to accommodate people who have drug problems.


According to him, the decision to build a human cage in his house is for his facilities and efforts in fostering drug addicts.


"It's not rehabilitation, it's coaching that I have made so far to foster people who abuse drugs," said Terbit about the cage he built about 10 years ago.


Contributor: Nuriel Shiami Indiraphasa

Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq