Forest Peoples Programme Supporting forest peoples’ rights

Plantation Workers on Golden Agri Resources’ estates in South Sumatra, Indonesia, demand fair treatment

15 July, 2017

Over 40 Indonesian civil society organisations have condemned abuses of workers’ rights on Golden Agri Resource’s oil palm plantations in South Sumatra. The plantations are run by Golden Agri Resources’ 100%-owned subsidiary PT Sawit Mas Sejahtera (‘Golden Prosperous Oil Palm Ltd’). Golden Agri Resources operates under the trade name Sinar Mas, which is Indonesia’s largest oil palm conglomerate, and controls 488,000 hectares of oil palm plantations across the country.

According to a statement issued by the NGOs, PT SMS is not following labour regulations. Contract workers are not being paid for overtime, are subject to unfair dismissal and receive no severance payments. The Ministry of Labour and Transmigration has reportedly confirmed the validity of these complaints. A recent peaceful demonstration by workers outside the estate office, says the statement, was met by force by armed state security personnel. Demonstrating workers were abused and seized by the security forces, according to the NGOs.

The NGOs are demanding that: GAR comply with the relevant labour laws and regulations; make good on overdue payments for overtime and; reinstate unfairly dismissed workers. They also ask that the security forces be withdrawn and ‘refrain from intimidation, terror and violence towards workers’. Their statement was filed with the Ministry of Labour and Transmigration, the national human rights commission (KomNasHAM) and with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, of which Golden Agri Resources is a member.    

Statement (English only)