The Association of Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs (GAPKI) is ensuring that there was no exploitation of female palm oil workers at plantations of its member companies and pledged to make sure that all its member companies followed ethical work practices and complied with the prevailing regulations on manpower.
This statement came following the publication of the results of an investigation by the Associated Press (AP) last week which reported the brutal treatment on women workers in palm oil plantations, including cases of sexual harassment and immoral acts against the female workers.
“We can ascertain that palm oil companies that are members of GAPKI have been providing a conducive and ethical working environment for workers in oil palm plantations,” said GAPKI Chairman Joko Supriyono in a press release uploaded on GAPKI’s official website.
GAPKI is also making sure that all member companies complied with all Indonesian manpower regulations, and promoted ethical work practices, including the six agendas that were the focus of GAPKI and its partners.
“There are six agendas that GAPKI and its partners focus on: 1) worker status; 2) social dialogue; 3) children and women workers protections; 4) wages; 5) occupational safety and health (K3); and 6) encourage supervision by the government,” said Supriyono.
This fair work practice is also being implemented by GAPKI in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and several other international NGOs.
Supriyono also assured that GAPKI was committed to implementing the principles of sustainability according to the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standards and criteria which included clear legality requirements. Including requirements for health, safety, and workers’ rights to ensure fair treatment of workers.
In addition, Supriyono also felt that if the AP journalists could visit the plantation of one of GAPKI member companies, they would see a more positive situation than the situation the journalist had seen and reported on.
“The incident described in the AP article is something that GAPKI members cannot accept. We believe that if AP journalists visit the plantation of GAPKI member companies, they will find a situation where women get positive opportunities and roles,” Supriyono concluded.