Govt always tries to better protect workers in tobacco industry

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government will always try to improve the protection of workers in the cigarette and tobacco industry, Manpower Minister M Hanif Dhakiri said.

"The government in this case the Manpower Ministry has interest in protecting workers and ensuring the continuation of business world/industry, including farmers, workers and business agents in the tobacco industry. We will continue to do our best," the minister said following a meeting with representatives of the Federation of All-Indonesia Labor Unions in the Cigarette, Tobacco, Food and Beverage Industries (BP RTMM-SPSI) at the Manpower Ministry here on Wednesday.

Some 5.8 million Indonesians are currently employed in the cigarette and tobacco industry, consisting of 2.3 tobacco farmers, 1.5 million clove growers, 600 thousand tobacco workers and 1 million retailers.

In the formal sector, 401,989 Indonesians are employed in the cigarette industry, with three-quarters or 291,824 of them being employed in manual clove-blended cigarette industry which constitutes labor-intensive industry.

The government protection of workers in the tobacco and cigarette industry include social security provided by the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) and commitment to ensure that all manpower regulations must always pay attention to the protection of workers and the continuation of business world/industry particularly the tobacco and cigarette industry, he said.

"All these reflects the presence of the government to protect workers in the tobacco sector whose number runs into millions from the upstream to downstream industries," he said.(*)