The Job Creation Law Protect Palm Oil Workers

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Palm oil is the only vegetable oil that has a sustainability certification such as ISPO and RSPO. Indonesian government has also adopted the goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the ISPO certification system so that it can be used as a standard for the palm oil industry to produce palm oil in a sustainably, both in economic, social and environmental aspects.

One of the important aspects in both the SDGs and ISPO is the social aspect, especially related to the workforce on oil palm plantations. This is an important focus given the large number of direct workers involved in oil palm plantations, especially state and private companies, which is estimated to reach 4.45 million people.

In addition, the issue of oil palm plantation workers has also begun to become a theme in the black campaign spread by anti-palm oil NGOs in the last several years. For example, the Association Press (AP) publication accuses the existence of exploitation of women and child labor in oil palm plantations. Not only that, labor issues are also used as a trade barrier imposed by palm oil importing countries, such as the case of prohibiting imports of CPO from Malaysian companies, namely Sime Darby Plantation and FGV Holdings in the United States. This shows that labor issues are not only used to “attack” the palm oil industry but also target companies.

palm oil

The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) has made various efforts to counter the black campaigns using labor issues in oil palm plantations by showing their commitment to ensuring that GAPKI member companies are unlikely to engage in labor practices that violate laws and ISPO’s principles. GAPKI’s commitment is shown by issuing a “Practical Guide to Protecting the Rights of Women Workers in Oil Palm Plantations”.

The commitment of palm oil industry players to protect their workers is also supported by the Indonesian Government through the Job Creation Law. The attention of palm oil stakeholders regarding the Job Creation Law in protecting their workers and realizing decent work in the palm oil industry is a topic of discussion in the Borneo Forum Webinar.

 

One of the objectives of the issuance of the Job Creation Law is to ensure the protection of workers in order to retain their rights. Even so, it does not mean that the Job Creation Law replaces all the articles in the Manpower Law (Law No. 13/2003). As explained in the explanation by the Director of Labor Norms Inspection, Yuli Adiratna, in this webinar, where only a few articles were changed, added, and deleted. So that if there are articles that are not deleted through the Job Creation Law, then UU 13/2003 is still valid.

The provisions stipulated in this law, among others, relate to working hours, structure and scale of wages, as well as regulating work agreements or work relations. The derivative of this law in both the Government Regulation (PP) and the Collective Labor Agreement also regulates matters that have not been regulated in the Manpower Law, such as menstrual rest and leave before and after childbirth.

The interesting thing is that after the enactment of the Job Creation Law for those workers with the agreement of fixed-term work status (in Bahasa: Perjanjian Kerja Waktu Tertentu/PKWT). After they have completion of the period and then they will get compensation funds. This is an important point, which means that there has been progressing in protecting workers, and especially for non-permanent workers because previously had no attention in providing compensation.

However, related to the derivative of Government Regulations of the Job Creation Law, namely Government Regulation No. 35/2021 concerning workers with agreement of fixed-term work (PKWT) status which has no limited period, JAPBUSI as the Indonesian Palm Oil Workers Union gave another response where it should be made to provide protection and welfare to workers with a maximum period limit period in the contract so that workers can have legal certainty and the opportunity to become permanent employees.

With the issuance of the Job Creation Law and its derivative regulations related to workers, it is hoped that it will be able to improve, enhance, and protect the rights of the two parties, specifically oil palm plantation companies and workers so that a decent work ecosystem can be created in the palm oil industry. In addition, this regulation is also expected to be the answer to the black campaign that uses labor issues so that it can improve the image of the national palm oil industry in the global market.

To make this hope is not just a daydreaming, it requires synergy and cooperation between oil palm plantation companies and workers to improve compliance with labor-related regulations.

Minyak sawit adalah satu-satunya minyak nabati yang memiliki sertifikasi keberlanjutan seperti ISPO dan RSPO. Pemerintah Indonesia juga telah mengadopsi tujuan-tujuan Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) dalam sistem sertifikasi ISPO sehingga dapat dijadikan standar bagi industri sawit untuk mengusahakan dan memproduksi minyak sawit secara berkelanjutan baik dalam aspek ekonomi, sosial, dan lingkungan.

Salah satu aspek yang penting baik dalam SDGs maupun ISPO adalah aspek sosial, khususnya terkait tenaga kerja yang terlibat pada perkebunan sawit. Hal ini menjadi fokus penting mengingat besarnya tenaga kerja langsung yang terlibat pada perkebunan sawit khususnya perusahaan negara dan swasta yang diperkirakan mencapai 4.45 juta orang.

Selain itu, isu tenaga kerja perkebunan sawit juga mulai marak dijadikan tema dalam black campaign yang disebarkan oleh LSM anti sawit dalam beberapa tahun terakhir. Seperti publikasi Assosiated Press (AP) yang menuding adanya eksploitasi terhadap pekerja wanita dan pekerja anak di perkebunan sawit. Tidak hanya itu, isu tenaga kerja juga dijadikan sebagai hambatan perdagangan sawit yang diterapkan oleh negara importir seperti kasus pelarangan impor CPO dari perusahaan Malaysia yaitu Sime Darby Plantation dan FGV Holdings di Amerika Serikat. Hal ini menunjukkan isu tenaga kerja tidak hanya digunakan untuk “menyerang” industri sawit tetapi menargetkan perusahaan.

palm oil

Gabungan Pengusaha Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (GAPKI) melakukan berbagai upaya untuk menangkis black campaign yang menggunakan isu tenaga kerja di perkebunan sawit dengan menunjukkan komitmennya untuk memastikan bahwa perusahaan anggota GAPKI tidak mungkin melakukan praktik ketenagakerjaan yang melanggar undang-undang dan prinsip serta kriteria dalam ISPO. Komitmen GAPKI tersebut ditunjukkan dengan mengeluarkan “Panduan Praktis Perlindungan Hak-Hak Pekerja Perempuan Di Perkebunan Sawit”.

Komitmen pelaku industri sawit untuk melindungi tenaga kerja atau buruh sawit juga didukung oleh Pemerintah Indonesia melalui UU Cipta Kerja. Perhatian berbagai stakeholder sawit terkait UU Cipta Kerja dalam melindungi buruh sawit dan mewujudkan kerja layak di industri sawit menjadi topik pembahasan dalam Webinar Borneo Forum.

Diterbitkannya UU Cipta Kerja salah satunya bertujuan untuk memastikan perlindungan terhadap tenaga kerja agar tetap memperoleh hak-haknya. Walaupun begitu, namun bukan berarti UU Cipta Kerja mengganti semua pasal yang ada dalam UU Ketenagakerjaan (UU No. 13/2003). Seperti dijelaskan dalam paparan Direktur Bina Pemeriksaan Norma Ketenagakerjaan Yuli Adiratna dalam webinar tersebut, dimana hanya ada beberapa pasal saja yang diganti, ditambah dan dihapus. Sehingga jika ada pasal yang tidak dihapus melalui UU Cipta Kerja, maka tetap berlaku UU No. 13/2003.

Regulasi yang diatur dalam UU ini antara lain terkait waktu kerja, pengaturan struktur dan skala upah, serta mengatur tentang perjanjian kerja atau hubungan kerja. Turunan UU ini baik dalam Peraturan Pemerintah (PP) maupun Perjanjian Kerja Bersama (PKB) juga mengatur hal-hal yang belum diatur dalam UU Ketenagakerjaan misalnya istirahat haid serta cuti sebelum dan sesudah melahirkan.

Yang menarik adalah setelah diberlakukannya UU Cipta Kerja untuk pekerja berstatus Perjanjian Kerja Waktu Tertentu (PKWT). Setelah pekerja PKWT tersebut selesai periodenya maka akan mendapatkan dana kompensasi. Hal tersebut menjadi poin penting yang artinya sudah ada kemajuan perlindungan pekerja khususnya bagi PKWT karena sebelumnya tidak ada perhatian dalam pemberian kompensasi.

Namun terkait PP turunan UU Cipta Kerja yaitu PP No. 35/2021 tentang PKWT yang tidak dibatasi periodenya, JAPBUSI selaku Serikat Pekerja Buruh Sawit Indonesia memberikan tanggapan lain dimana seharusnya untuk memberikan perlindungan dan kesejahteraan kepada buruh harus dibuat batasan maksimum periode pada kontrak sehingga pekerja dapat memiliki kepastian hukum dan berpeluang menjadi karyawan tetap.

Dengan diterbitkannya UU Cipta Kerja berserta peraturan turunannya terkait ketenagakerjaan diharapkan mampu memperbaiki, menyepurnakan dan melindungi hak-hak dari kedua belah pihak dalam hal ini adalah perusahaan dan buruh sawit sehingga dapat tercipta ekosistem kerja yang layak di di industri sawit. Selain itu, regulasi ini juga diharapkan mampu menjadi jawaban atas black campaign yang menggunakan isu tenaga kerja sehingga dapat memperbaiki citra industri sawit nasional di pasar global.

Agar harapan tersebut bukan hanya mimpi di siang bolong, maka dibutuhkan sinergitas dan kerjasama antara perusahaan perkebunan dengan buruh sawit untuk meningkatkan kepatuhan pada regulasi terkait ketenagakerjaan.

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