Palm Oil Labors Still Far from Welfare

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Palm Oil Labors. Photo by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Andi Qodratullah

PALMOILMAGAZINE, BOGOR – The palm oil industry has emerged as a significant economic pillar in Indonesia, providing employment opportunities for millions. However, despite its substantial contributions, the social welfare conditions of palm oil laborers remain far from ideal. Particularly concerning is the vulnerability of female workers to exploitation and unfair treatment within the industry.

Zidane, a labor specialist from Sawit Watch, observed that female workers in palm oil plantations often operate under precarious conditions, lacking clear employment status with the companies they work for. Consequently, they frequently encounter unfulfilled rights and are susceptible to issues such as violence and sexual abuse.

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He also mentioned female labors are always vulnerable to getting toxic chemical ingredients when they are working (in nursery sector) that would be negative for their health, namely their reproduction system.

“That is why it needs to create the safe, comfortable work environment to welfare the female labors that the regional government and companies should notice,” he recently said, as in the official statement to

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Director Executive of Sawit Watch, Achmad Surambo told that the government should notice the labors’ claims and existence. It needs to regulate labor’s policy that takes partisanship for them. He was sorry that Undang – Undang Cipta Kerja provides ‘red carpet’ to realize informal work practices for palm oil labors. This makes them worse.

Not only that European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) is a concern so that it would not be a loss for the labors. “The Government of Indonesia and European Union Commission should be responsible to make sure that EUDR would not be negative for labors’ welfare in the future,” he said.

He also told it needs serious efforts from every related parties, such as, the companies, the regencies, and international scale – organization to escalate the labors’ social economy, and welfare situation, namely for the female so that they would get the advantages from palm oil industries that massively contribute for this country. (T2)

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