Priok returns to normal as strike ends

Activities at Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta returned to normal on Tuesday as logistics and forwarder operators resumed work after striking at the country’s main seaport a day earlier.

State-run company PT Pelindo II, also known as Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC), said stevedoring activities at the seaport were back to normal.

“Every activity is running normally today and no union was on strike at the port. I believe they stopped [the strike] because it was they who suffered losses,” IPC president director Richard Joost Lino told The Jakarta Post.

Lino said he had not talked to any of the striking associations on Monday, such as the Container Truck Association (Angsuspel), the Indonesian Stevedoring Companies Association (APBMI) and the Indonesian Logistics and Forwarders Association (ALFI).

According to him, talks were unnecessary because the associations’ allegation that the IPC conducted monopolistic practices was untrue.

“The IPC has not purchased any trucks to carry containers out of the port like they claim or conducted any monopolistic practices. They are just rumors spread to hamper our growth,” Lino said.

Meanwhile, the associations said workers went on to protest the business expansion of IPC, which they felt would eventually destroy their livelihoods.

Angsuspel chairman Gemilang Tarigan suspected that the IPC, through its subsidiaries, had bought trucks, which threatened the future of the association. He claimed that the association recently discovered there were 30 new trucks at Cirebon Port, West Java, and in Boom Baru Port in Palembang, South Sumatra.

Gemilang suspected that the trucks belonged to the IPC. According to Angsuspel branches across the nation, the firm bought 2,000 trucks to support its business.

The IPC plans to establish 22 subsidiaries by the end of 2014 to enable flexibility in its operations. Currently, it has eight subsidiaries and is planning to establish six more this year.

The subsidiaries will run IPC’s existing businesses, which range from marine services to bulk terminals.

Lino also said that in the transportation sector, the company only had tugboats and pilot boats to facilitate the flow of goods at Priok through PT Jasa Armada Indonesia.

He said many people erroneously thought that PT Jasa Armada Indonesia was a trucking company.

In addition, Gemilang said the associations did not continue the strike on Tuesday because they had suffered billions of rupiah in losses.

“Besides, we don’t want to be labeled as companies that can only strike when we find problems,” he said.

The return to normal activities was witnessed by the Transportation Ministry’s sea transportation director general Bobby Mamahit.

He said the port’s yard occupancy ratio of import goods, for instance, had decreased significantly from Monday during the strike.

Separately, Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said that Monday’s strike was a result of a misunderstanding between the associations and the IPC.

The associations thought that the company was planning to set up a transportation firm to compete with existing players. They said it was monopolistic and they were afraid that the port would no longer work with the associations.

“It is not true that it [IPC] will set up a transportation company. Container-hauling services will be offered to the private sector,” Hatta said.

Besides Tanjung Priok, Pelindo II manages Pontianak Port in West Kalimantan, Pangkal Balam Port in Bangka, Panjang Port in Lampung, Teluk Bayur Port in Padang, West Sumatra, and Jambi Port in Jambi.

Source : TheJakartaPost – Nurfika Osman

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