The factory, which is owned by the US-based company Phillips Foods Inc., employs 1,900 workers, of which 96% are women and 100% are on temporary contracts. Many of the workers have worked continuously at the seafood factory for 10 years or more but were denied permanent employment and paid daily wage rates of just Rs.30,000 [USD 3.30]
After forming the independent plant-level union with 400 members – all women – and affiliating to the IUF in 2009, the union launched a struggle for permanent jobs.
The difficult two year struggle finally led to negotiations with management and the gradual conversion to permanent jobs for those employed for more than 10 years. So far the union has secured 200 permanent jobs.
For some it was a bitter victory because severe health problems caused by years of workplace injuries and illness compelled 50 of the 200 into early retirement. But the union negotiated compensation for those retiring – the first time any kind of compensation has been paid out to workers by the company.
Now together with IUF, SBPSI is increasing its union membership, fighting for more permanent jobs as well as better working conditions.
The factory in Lampung is one of 17 factories worldwide owned and operated by the US-based Phillips Foods Inc. These factories produce Phillips branded seafood products for export to the US and other markets as well as directly supplying the company’s own chain of Phillips Seafood Restaurants in the US through its “Water to Plate” supply chain strategy.