Jaga Sawitan: Empowering Labor and Stakeholders in North Sumatera

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PALMOILMAGAZINE, MEDAN – Significant event unfolded at the Swiss-Bellin Hotel in Medan on October 24th and 25th, 2023, marking a milestone for the palm oil industry in Indonesia. This event, part of the Jaga Sawitan workshop, gave birth to the “Jaringan Ketenagakerjaan Sawit Berkelanjutan” (Jaga Sawitan) forum.

Jaga Sawitan represents a collaborative effort among key stakeholders in the palm oil sector, including the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA), labor representatives from JAPBUSI, and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Their primary objective is to foster responsible labor practices in the Indonesian palm oil industry, aligning with both national and international labor regulations.

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Sumarjono Saragih, Chairman of Human Resources at IPOA, officially established Jaga Sawitan on February 16, 2023. Initially conceived as a bipartite forum for dialogue between industry stakeholders and labor representatives, it aspires to evolve into a multiparty organization in the future. Nursanna Marpaung, formerly associated with JAPBUSI, now serves as the President of Jaga Sawitan during its inaugural year.

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The initiative would not be a formal meeting only but also would be the real thing to establish decent work and sustainable palm oil practices. Jaga Sawitan planned to be introduced in every province that produces palm oil in Indonesia.

“North Sumatera as the province to launch this organization has history and philosophy because it was the first region for palm oil development in Indonesia or since 1911,” Saragih said.

Governor of North Sumatera in duty, Hasanuddin and Head of Transmigration and Labor Agency North Sumatera province did appreciate the fabulous partnership between stakeholders and labor in palm oil sector. He acknowledged the success of the social dialogue. He also mentioned that the same forum would only cover one party only – the stakeholders or the labors. But in Jaga Sawitan, partnership between both parties that have different goals, shows the good sample.

The workshop was not only discussion but also getting the real result. Many participants in the workshop signed declaration documents to emphasize their commitment to encourage social dialogue as the way to get labor practices which are the same with sustainable principles. The plan was to follow up many agenda. In the democracy spirit, Tohonan Tampubolon as Coordinator of Federasi Hukatan was chosen as the President of Jaga Sawitan, North Sumatera Province. (T2)

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