Female Workers in PT Sintang Raya
Spraying work is based on target. A set mandatory target is a 15-tank per day. One tank is equal to 15 litres. If she can do spraying more than 15 tanks, she will get bonus or premium. Salary with the company is IDR 75,000 per day.
Fertilising application is also applied target system. Fertilizing set target is 9 sacks per day. A sack weight is 50 kg including shouldering the fertilisers bags from the drop points to fertilizing sites. The application covers 9 rows x 27 or 28 palm trees up to 243 palm trees. The salary is also IDR 75,000 per day.
It is normal that in order to spend times before fertilizer’s truck arrives that she has to do any activities or any work that a foreman instructs her to do including to clear shrubs, weeds or grass under palm trees (gawang).
Harvesting salary is also the same IDR 75,000 per day with mandatory set target up to 185 fresh fruit bunches (FFB). She was promised to get worker social insurance after three (3) years of working. When she put forward work application, she was promised after three (3) years of working to be promoted become a permanent employee. In fact, she has not been awarded a permanent employee status even though she has been eight (8) years of working with PT Sintang Raya.
She works in Division IV Ame and Division Ole. Last month she received IDR 1,680,000 and her husband earned IDR 2,300,000 as a foreman (mandor). A salary IDR 1,800,000 is basic salary from 25-day work per month. Her husband works as a foreman in a planting division.
She saw harvester helpers’ and some foremen bring their kids to oil palm plantation. A work leave only is awarded to all permanent plantation employees (KHT). She told her experience that she worked from day one of her pregnancy until a day before she gave birth to a boy baby. She gave birth to a premature placenta – a two-month earlier of assumed nine-month normal pregnancy. A premature happens due to stressful, extreme physical work burdens or overworked conditions.
In avoiding a voluntary resignation, she has to find out someone who can take over some work that she left temporarily until she returns to her workplace, a fertilizer application. She was fortunate that was because her adopted mother was willing to take over her work for about two (2) months. She got neither health insurance nor a maternity leave.
She breast-fed her boy baby since day 1 up until now when he is five years old. She was also aware that she occasionally exposed to conditions or worked in plantation block near to or just next side to blocks when chemical pesticide and herbicide sprayers on duties or chemists just finished spraying pesticides or herbicides. She did not know health impacts and the danger of occasionally being exposed to near or next to hazardous pesticides and herbicides.
The PT Sintang Raya provides chemists who do spraying a can of milk for neutralizing or cleaning poisonous internal impacts of pesticides and herbicides. Yet she neither received a can of milk nor recommended to consume milk even if she just worked applying fertilizers next to block where chemists sprayed pesticides and herbicides.
She did have a work accident. She felt down from a John Deer and struck down by a heavy fertilizer bag. She got neither insurance nor appropriate treatment medical aids. The company did try to help her but the company only helped sent her to nearby clinic where she got no appropriate medical treatment. She was badly in painful conditions and was expecting for a proper treatment. She instead asked she was sent back home because she realise she got no proper medical treatment.
Her conditions were not better compared to other women from neighbouring other villages. There were thirty (30) up to forty (40) young mothers from neighbouring villages have kids and still breast-fed their kids. These young mothers also worked in PT Sintang Raya.
*)The results of interviews NORMAN For TUK INDONESIA