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Jakarta Post

Tangerang workers, locals attack factory, homes of owner and village head

  • Multa Fidrus

    The Jakarta Post

Tangerang   /   Mon, May 6, 2013   /  07:02 pm

Angered by alleged "slavery" conditions at a kitchen utensils factory in Sepatan Timur, Tangerang, dozen of workers, assisted by local residents, attacked and damaged the factory's facilities on Monday.

The workers, grouped under the Benteng Leather, Garment and Textile Workers Association (SPTSK) and the All-Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI), damaged production equipment in the factory and pulled down the factory fence.

The mob later damaged the home of Juki Irawan, the factory owner, next to the factory, before going on to target the home of Mursan, the village head, who is a relative of the factory owner.

They had set off in a motorcycle convoy to Lebak Wangi village administration office in search of Mursan, but as the village head was absent, they continued the convoy to his residence, not far from the office.

Several officers of Sepatan police subprecinct managed to calm the angry mob, which had begun stoning the house, and persuaded the protesters to leave. The officers then evacuated four people, comprising Mursan'€™s children and a maid from the house.

'€œWe will go to Tangerang regency precinct police office and demand an investigation of the 'slavery case','€ Gandhi, Benteng SPTSK coordinator, said.

Prior to the attack, Jakarta City Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Affan Rikhwanto who visited the factory said that Sepatan and Tangerang regency police had been less than responsive to the "slavery" claims, which allegedly involved TNI (Army) and Brimob (Police Mobile Brigade) officers from Serang.

'€œWe have heard about TNI and Brimob personnel who were frequently seen at the factory and we will summon them for clarification,'€ he said, adding that the police were still looking into the involvement of the village head.

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