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Date updated : 12-Aug-2019

Status: active

© 2019 IUF

Tell Chicken of the Sea to take action on human rights violations in its supply chain!

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.

USE THE FORM BELOW 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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To Valentin Ramirez, CEO Chicken of the Sea
Cc Kevin Bixler, Vice President Procurement

Dear Mr. Ramirez,

I am appalled to have learned from the IUF about brutal human rights violations at your Indonesian supplier Bumi Menara Internusa in Lampung. BMI management has engineered the arrest and prosecution of the trade union secretary at the plant, Remi Desmiria, in retaliation for her work in enrolling BMI workers in the government’s mandatory health insurance program. BMI is making use of a corrupt legal system to engage in vicious persecution of a trade union leader and attack the rights of BMI workers. The company has told Reni that she can go free if she resigns her union position, which she has refused.

I call on Chicken of the Sea to immediately contact BMI to demand an end to the persecution of Reni Desmiria and respect for the rights of BMI workers and their trade union.

Yours sincerely,

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