Pity! Right To Be Hanged Since 2016, Former Merpati Pilot Asks Jokowi: Please Pay Our Severance Pay
Pigeon Plane. (Photo: Doc. Antara)

JAKARTA - PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines (Persero) is said to be still delaying payments or employee normative rights since 2016. Therefore, a number of former Merpati Airlines pilots who are members of the Ex Merpati Pilots Association (PPEM) sent an open letter to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) which was sent since June 17, 2021.

Chairman of the Ex Merpati Pilot Association (PPEM), Capt. Anthony Ajawaila said the open letter was also specially copied to nine agencies namely the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of SOEs of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia, the Minister of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia, the Chairman of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission, and the Chairman of the Commission. VI DPR RI, and Chairman of the Ombudsman RI.

"We sincerely request the attention, attention and assistance of the President to assist in the immediate payment of our severance pay, which since 2016 has not been completed by PT Merpati as a state-owned company," he said in a virtual press conference, Wednesday, June 23.

In the letter, said Anthony, the former pilots reported severance rights issues that had not been resolved since 2016. The number of former Merpati employees whose severance rights had not been fulfilled by the company reached 1,233 people, totaling Rp318.17 billion.

On February 22, 2016, the company issued a Debt Acknowledgment Letter or SPU by giving some of the normative rights to employees of approximately 30 percent with a promise for settlement by December 2018.

Even so, the SPU in question changed to Suspension of Debt Payment Obligations (PKPU) on November 14, 2018 at the Surabaya Commercial Court on the condition that Merpati must operate to settle these rights and responsibilities.

Anthony said that the former Merpati employee had sought an explanation from the Merpati management regarding various rights issues that had not been fully paid for. However, said Anthony, until now the management has not provided a statement.

"Don't treat us like the saying goes, 'It's gone sweet, we throw it away.'

Furthermore, Anthony said that the former employee hopes that the severance pay will be enjoyed in retirement to continue the survival of his family. However, the non-payment of the severance pay is certainly a problem for every employee's family.

"Starting from divorce, sick children, dropping out of school, changing jobs to become motorcycle taxi drivers, builders, and others. Even every week we hear news of the death of our colleague, a former Merpati Airlines employee," he said.

For your information, Merpati Air has stopped operating since February 2014. In the closed condition of operations, the company still has outstanding salary payments to employees and severance pay.

The Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) has taken a path to restructure Merpati through PT Perusahaan Pengelola Aset (PPA) with a government equity participation scheme. PMN approved in 2015 was worth Rp500 billion. The funds were used to solve employee problems amounting to Rp300 billion.

While the other Rp200 billion is for the process of Postponing Debt Payment Obligations (PKPU), administration, and pre-operations to issue AOC or re-fly permits.

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