Makassar dockers’ union to ICTSI: “this offer is simply not good enough”


Dock workers at ICTSI’s Makassar terminal in Indonesia are currently standing firm in their ongoing campaign for a decent, living wage.



The workers’ union, Serikat Pekerja Makassar Terminal Services (SPMTS), last week rejected an offer put forward by ICTSI’s local subsidiary Makassar Terminal Services (MTS).

Leader of the SPMTS, Edyal said, “This offer is simply not enough. The cost of living in Makassar grows every year. Our productivity goes up, but our wages stay flat”. 

Workers are currently negotiating a collective agreement with MTS demanding a return to the Makassar city minimum wage and a salary structure and scale that improves the conditions of the workers, lifting their income closer to a living wage.

Until 2015, MTS workers received the Makassar city minimum wage and additional allowances. Following ICTSI’s arrival, workers’ base wages were cut back to below the legal minimum, with the company relying on allowances and overtime to meet the minimum legal requirements stipulated by Indonesian labour law. 

As the ITF reported in October 2017, these cuts by ICTSI pushed workers’ wages below a living wage, with many unable to meet basic, essential living expenses. This created a situation where workers are forced to accept long and unsafe overtime in order to make a living wage, with some workers reporting working 70 hours of overtime per week, over and above their base hours. The offer by MTS management last week barely covers these cuts suffered by workers in 2015. 

The ITF has calculated that the difference between the union’s demands and the offer put on the table by MTS management is less than US $30 per month for each of the workers.

Considering that in 2017, ICTSI generated US $3 million in revenue from MTS’s operations, the workers’ claim represents only 1 per cent of the profit generated for the multinational terminal giant from just its Makassar terminal.

The ITF is calling on MTS to continue bargaining in good faith, and to meet the union’s modest demands, in their continuing pursuit for a decent, living wage.