Time for the Government to Listen to the Labor Voices

Palm Oil Magazine
Doc. Sawit Fest 2021 / Arie Basuki

PALMOILMAGAZINE, BOGOR – Achmad Surambo, the Director of Sawit Watch, emphasized that the government needs to recognize the existence of two distinct social groups within palm oil plantations, namely agricultural laborers and plantation laborers.

Regrettably, over the years, the predominant focus has been on the smallholders’ voices, while the concerns of the laborers have been overlooked. From a different standpoint, the government has engaged in various discussions, yet it has failed to fully comprehend the challenges and issues faced by the labor force.

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“Palm oil moratorium regulation, for instance, never discusses palm oil labors. It focuses to escalate productivity,” he said in a discussion entitled ‘Transisi yang Berkeadilan dalam Industri Sawit, with the theme “Konsepsi tentang Transisi Industri Sawit yang Berkeadilan,” Thursday, 14 September 2023 virtually through Zoom and Youtube.

Also Read : Sawit Watch Exposes the Issue: 3.3 Million Hectares of Palm Oil

He also mentioned, the government should protect and empower the two groups. Concept of ‘just transition’ would run well if the government publishes a policy to protect, empower agriculture labors and plantation labors in palm oil plantations.

“And every work to encourage just transition would be running by group campaigners including Koalisi Buruh Sawit (KBS),” Surambo said.

Meanwhile, Hariati Sinaga, Ph.D, academy of Universitas Indonesia said, that the emphasize of productivity in palm oil plantation would deliver impacts to escalate freelancers which are dominated by female.

“Just transition should be about worth life guarantees. One of them is clear work status particularly for the female who works but does not get (enough) salary,” boru Sinaga said. (T2)

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