Selected postings from east-timor (reg.easttimor)

Subject: KSTL: World Bank strikers in Timor fired!

Please note the following info I've pasted below passed onto me from KSTL, a Timorese union representing security guards and cleaning staff for World Bank headquarters in Dili. They went went on strike and have now been terminated. Their contracts were with Chubb Security.

Thank you. In solidarity, Karen Orenstein/ETAN


As a new country which promote the freedom of association as reflection of the history of the people who had long struggle for independent and as reflection of the value of human being and promote the democracy, it has been starting to put in practice by respecting the value of human rights to not doing any kind of practice of the dictatorial.

Based on the Constitution of Democratic Republic of Timor Leste article 51, which says that workers have the right to strike, so we the employees of Chubb Protective Services who work as security and cleaner at World Bank in Timor Leste, declare that we still keep continue our picket line and try with our way to settle the dispute that we are facing and we fully reject termination letter which is issued by Chubb Company on 4th of December 2003 after one day picket line. We underline that the termination letter that issued by Chubb Company is illegal because of few reason:

1. Against the Labor Code of Timor Leste section 37.2c, which says that employer has the obligation to give notification 30 days for issued the termination letter if worker have work for a year or more than a year.

2. The picket line that we did on 3 of December is legal because we sent the notification in 18 of November 2003

3. World Bank is not essential service. Essential according to Labor Code are Police, Ambulance, Electricity, Hospital, and public transportation (labor code, section 1 part 2 about definition)

4. Moreover, the attitude of Chubb management by terminating those workers who doing the strike has showing the dictatorship of the management and not respect the value of human rights and clearly against the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste article 51. And its attitude has showing that Chubb Management has using the some strategy which had used by colony by putting the Timorese people against their comrades.

Before the strikes, which begin in 3rd of December 2003, workers had peace protest against World Bank and Chubb management for 8 days, but there was no response by both World Bank and Chubb. There is now other way for workers to protect their rights unless STRIKE, in which protect and guarantee by constitution and Labor Code of Timor Leste.

We also condemn bed attitude of Chubb within 4 years since first time they operated in Timor Leste, particularly the exploration and violation against workers as a human being, who has the right to protect their living condition and the prosperity for their family.

As an independent union in Timor Leste, we cannot tolerate those bed attitudes that have been done by Chubb Company for Timorese Workers. Since Chubb operated in Timor Leste, it does not abide by the regulation of Timor Leste, such are: termination without reason, termination without warning, unpaid overtime, discrimination on salary, and recruitment without contract

Within 25 years we had fight to defend our right and liberate our people from injustice, pressure, torture from the dictatorship of the Indonesian Military. Now we want to promote and protect workers rights as human rights.

As a new country we promote democracy, the respect of workers rights for development of the country. We cannot tolerate any kind of violation against the workers right, because workers are not slave, but free people who struggle for many years, seeking for the liberation of the land and liberation of the people. Employer must respect this rights including Chubb Company. Chubb has to realize that without workers, Chubb cannot do anything. Both parties should respect each other as partnership for the benefits of both parties.

For that, we call upon to every union in the world to protest this attitude; which are against the human being and fundamental rights.

Dili, 9 December 2003

Jose da C. da Costa President of KSTL + 670 7239824

************************************* CHRONOLOGICAL OF THE CASE

1. In late 1999, when World Bank starts its operation in Timor Leste, They recruit a few Timorese to work for World Bank as a guard and Cleaner, than within few months, World Bank transfer those workers to Chubb Protective Company, which is branch of Darwin Australia. At that time, workers got paid US$ 108, than after 6 months, salary was increase to USD$ 120, than after a year, workers salary increase to US$ 133 and US$ 3 cut for tax.

2. In November 2002, Chubb issued a notification to the workers, which said that in the end of 2002 (December 2002}, the contract between Chubb and World Bank will be finished. And Chubb said that they would lobby World Bank to continue the contract with Chubb by tender with other security company, so workers will remain do their job as normally. When we confirm with other security company (SEPROSEPTIL run by Timorese} Than Seproseptil said Chubb was the only one Company that provide security to World Bank and it was happened without tender.

3. In December 2002 after the notification, suddenly Chubb come to workers with 2 page of individual contract and ask workers to sing the contract with salary US$ 94, without any explanation. They just force workers to sign without read first. And they threaten workers that if workers do not sign the contract, workers will finished their job with Chubb, without any compensation.

4. Actually the continuation of Contract between World Bank and Chubb just signed in June 2003, but Chubb already reduce workers salary since December 2002.

5. Than in March 2003, Workers came to KSTL complaint about their case.

6. In March 2003, with assistance of KSTL, workers sent a letter to Chubb asking for clarification meeting about reducing their salary. In that meeting, we did not met with top manager (Nick Lear and Warren Knight/Australian} but they sent local management/people to meet with KSTL. The local people are Markus F. Kardinal as an Executive Manager and Eduardo Belo as a Field Supervisor. In that meeting, Chubb said that the reason of the reducing salary because World Bank have cut the budget for security and cleaner. And they said that we have to confirm with management of World Bank. Than we sent another letter to management of World Bank asking for clarification meeting. 3 hour after they received the letter, World Bank than called KSTL and said that World Bank have nothing to do with the matter. And they ask us to talk to Chubb. At that time KSTL had a big argue on the matter

7. In March 24 2003, KSTL sent another letter to Chubb asking for second meeting and Chubb refuse to talk about the matter.

8. Than after few Days in March, Chubb said to the workers that Chubb had decided to reduce salary of all staff same as government workers. Than, again we have big argued on that reason because Chubb is Private sector or profit organization, they cannot compare with the government workers.

9. In March 29th 2003, Chubb had a meeting with all 32 workers, and promise to the workers that there will be some changes in terms of salary, after Chubb sign contract with World Bank in May 2003. But after June 2003, after Chubb signs the contract with Chubb, they did not talk to workers about the matter.

10. Because of there was no result, workers together with KSTL, sent another letter to Chubb, and copy to World Bank, Labor Department, Parliament, which said that if no result, workers will strike. Than Chubb make another strategy just to ovoid the strike, then pointed 4 workers who represent other workers as representatives to be supervisor with paid US$ 120, but doing the same things with other workers. But workers refused and continue with KSTL to look at other way to solve the matter.

11. Than in 16 November 2003, after discuss with workers, all workers agreed to have a strike in 24 November 2003 at World Bank main office. But actually Strike just happened in 3rd of December 2003. Than one day after strike, Nick Lear and Markus F Kardinal as management of Chubb issued a termination letter for every workers that participate the strike and bring another workers to replace those workers that did the strike. That attitude is against labor code article 24.11 and constitution of RDTL article 51.


see also Labor Issues in East Timor page

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