The Corvidae Family
Members of this family are fond of bright, shiny objects, and will steal rings and other jewellery. Most members of this family eat a wide variety of food.
Members of this species are also looked at as disgusting and blood-thirsty because they prey on other species, Yet, ... this bad press cannot suppress the fact that they are very intelligent, ... use tools and have some problem-solving abilities.
Does this sound like a family you know, Italian perhaps?
Well, stone the crows, the 'family' I'm referring to are Indonesian and profess Christian values.
My ongoing industrial relations dispute
has now reached a crucial juncture. The 'defendants' have been invited several times to the mediation table by the Department of Manpower (Depnaker
), invitations which have treated with seeming disdain for the due legal process.
This, and the disclosure of some of our signed documentary evidence of long-term intimidation (including death threats) which continues, of financial malfeasance over the past 3 years, and their general 'fuck you' attitude
which rides rough shod over statutory and moral rights, has infuriated officials in the bureaucracy who are now talking of police action as the next step.
However, Yayasan Badan Pendidikan Kristen - Penabur
have one more chance, just one - tomorrow, to attend a session at Depnaker
. Failure to do so will result in open court sessions and the full disclosure here and in other media of the facts which has put the livelihoods of some 40 expatriate workers in Indonesia at risk.
(NB. If you're wondering about my comparison between the supposedly Christian 'godfathers' of one of Indonesia's largest education networks and black birds, then delve into folklore
~ the French had a saying that evil priests became crows
The next day
Well, that was an interesting meeting.
The Penabur lawyers appeared to be totally unprepared, other than to offer to pay us the money owed ~ as stated in writing ~ from October last year. They had few other documents or, rather, they were reluctant to say what they had. They were indeed reluctant to produce a copy of my contract and as for having a copy in bahasa Indonesia
They were unable to answer the mediator's questions about following the provisions of Act No.13, 2003, concerning Manpower
and, apart from appearing to be embarrassed at their own unpreparedness, could offer nothing more than that month's pay and the comment that my writing on the internet
about the case was a breach of 'etiquette'.
Well, screw that. They know the strength of our case, even if we have done nothing but hint at BPK-Penabur's breaches of the criminal and civil codes. The joy of today's meeting was the slow realisation that the seeming incompetence of Penabur's lawyers could have been a mask to conceal the fact that they may also be out to screw Penabur.
Most corporations keep lawyers and accountants on a retainer basis, year-by-year. The Penabur lawyers will get nothing other than their regular fees by continuing our case through the current bureaucratic mediation process. They will, however, be able to claim much larger fees for appearing in a court, such as the Industrial Relations Court. Mind you, the Court will almost certainly make their decision based on the recommendations of the mediator.
Once there, much that I have hinted at here will become clear and in the public domain. You may think me perverse, but this isn't what we want. We have consistently stated that by making a stand, one justified in Indonesian legislation, we are protecting the rights of all those currently employed in similar institutions and those yet to be recruited. We want to see Penabur change their employment practices so that they, at the very least, offer the protection as guaranteed by law.
Screw some antiquated notion of etiquette, the same system which employs 'bules' for entertainment value only, as performing monkeys.
I may have breached certain 'cultural norms', but I have not knowingly manipulated laws for the sake of personal profit.
If I have written anything that is libellous and cannot be proven, then I say "sue me". That this hasn't yet happened can be construed as an admission that what has happened to us (and at least a dozen other expats) is indefensible.
One more meeting is scheduled for next week at Disnaker
. We advise BPK-Penabur to face up to the facts and deal with us there, in private. Failure to do so will be our gain, and not only because the compensation payable would be considerably higher. We will gain because they will lose, thus vindicating the notion that standing up for your rights ~ in our case, our legal rights ~ is the right thing to do.
Penabur is avowedly a Christian organisation. We are merely following New Testament precepts they should understand.If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?John 4:16