US-headquartered packaged seafood provider Chicken of the Sea promises ‘A Sea of Good’ and likes to talk about sustainability. Its products are well-known throughout the Americas. Like many US seafood companies, Chicken of the Sea sources products from Bumi Menara Internusa (BMI) in Lampung, Indonesia. And BMI is trying to send a brave trade union leader to prison for 6 years. Human rights violations are swimming in the Sea of Good.
For many years, a union of workers at the BMI factory in Lampung, Indonesia has been seeking to end abusive practices which particularly affect the many women who work there. Union secretary Reni Desmiria, a young mother, has been successfully enrolling BMI workers in the government’s mandatory health insurance program since she returned from maternity leave. In retaliation, Reni was arrested and jailed at the company’s insistence on May 17, and is currently on trial. The indictment in this kangaroo court offers the judges multiple options on which to convict her. BMI is demanding 6 years’ imprisonment – the maximum penalty – for an infraction she committed 8 years ago, when she submitted a fake high school certificate in order to get the job. It was never an issue – until the company had to start contributing to employee health care. BMI has told Reni she can go free if she resigns from her union position. She has refused.
Chicken of the Sea should be concerned – they have a duty to know what goes on at their suppliers. For months, unions have been holding mass demonstrations at BMI.
CLICK HERE to tell Chicken of the Sea to use its commercial relationship with BMI to press for Reni’s release and stop this outrageous use of a corrupt legal system to bully workers.
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