BBC News Indonesia 22nd Sept 2022: Indonesian migrant workers in the UK: ‘Third fastest fruit picker’, earnings are huge, but ‘costs to agents are so high’

See below google translation of the in-depth article by BBC Indonesia published today on, amongst other things, the hard work yet alleged exploitation of Indonesian migrant workers in the UK seasonal agricultural worker scheme.

Pekerja migran Indonesia di Inggris: ‘Pemetik buah tercepat ketiga’, pendapatan sangat besar, tapi ‘biaya ke agen begitu tinggi’ – BBC News Indonesia

BBC News Indonesia 22nd Sept 2022: Indonesian migrant workers in the UK: ‘Third fastest fruit picker’, earnings are huge, but ‘costs to agents are so high’

An Indonesian seasonal worker on a British plantation became the third fastest fruit picker, after just over a month of work. But his main complaint is that the departure fees he pays to distribution agents in Indonesia are “so large” that he is forced into debt.

“Astungkara, I am the third fastest fruit picker, the first picker gets around 100 trays , I only have 75 trays , I have not been able to surpass the experienced number one picker.”

Gede Suardika Widi Adnyana, a 20-year-old young man from Bali, smiled a lot when he shared his experience working at the Clock House plantation, Maidstone, Kent, southern England.

In less than two months of work, Suardika is said to have been able to compete with workers with long experience.
“Working on the farm is very exciting, the work is also not too heavy,” he said.

He is one of 318 Indonesian workers stationed on the plantation through one of Britain’s four authorized recruitment agencies, AG Recruitment. But the departure from Indonesia is arranged by PT Al Zubara Manpower Indonesia.

Suardika is one of 1,274 people who have been stationed in the UK, the first group of seasonal workers from Indonesia.

He had just graduated from a tourism diploma in Bali, when he heard there was an opportunity to work on a British plantation.

However, to go to England, Suardika had to borrow money from the bank through his uncle, amounting to Rp. 70 million, the funds which he paid in installments.

“My fee is IDR 70 million, I have to pay it to the agency , there is a dealer, to connect to the agency. He said it was for visa fees, fingerprints, KTKLN [Overseas Worker Cards] and return flights,” said Suardika when met by BBC News Indonesia journalist Endang Nurdin at Clock House Farm.

” There is no fruit picking training ,” he added.

At his current pace, says Suardika, he can set aside around £400 (around IDR 7 million at current exchange rates) net per week.

“My average salary is £500 (Rp8.7 million) per week, when I got a lot of fruit I got £670 more… minus the cost of accommodation, meals, personal expenses such as internet, I could save £400 [per week],” he said. Suardika after finishing her shift .

Salaries for seasonal workers in the UK are set at £10.10 per hour, on top of the minimum wage of £9.50 per hour.

Claudiu Netiou – the plantation mentor who coached Suardika – said that with the way he works now, he can become the fastest picker in the coming picking seasons.

“The fastest fruit picker is from Romania who has been working on picking blackberries for 12 years. Gede (Suardika) works in the same team and has only been picking fruit for over a month. I think in the coming seasons, he will be more advanced and can become a picker. fastest,” said Claudiu, who started his job as a fruit picker.

On British plantations, fruit pickers are usually divided into teams of about 35 people.

Workers pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples and plums, the fruits of which are mostly supplied to major supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Gede Sudiarka borrowed money from the bank through his uncle for the departure fee of Rp. 70 million to the channeling agent.
‘Indonesian workers’ commitment is a good example’

Ozzy, a worker from Tegal, said that many of his friends were ensnared by brokers.
Ozzy Agista Indrawan, a worker from Tegal, Central Java, on the same plantation, admits that he is not as fast as Sudiarka, but the way he works, ensures that he “will be appointed as supervisor ” (supervisor) when he returns next picking season.

“When I started from 35 employees, I was in 27th place but now per week, number eight or 11 out of 35 people. The team is mixed, there are Romanians, Macedonian. The example is that the Romanian people work fast and have a good work ethic,” said Ozzy, who is working on a plantation for the first time.

Previously he worked seasonally in the factory and tourism sectors, respectively in Japan and Dubai.

By working the way he is now, says Ozzy, he generates “very big income, we get a net salary of £400 after deducting food and other things, we can get Rp30 million net in one month, that’s all I’m grateful for.”

Mentor at Clock House Farm, Claudiu, said Indonesian workers “have a high level of commitment and respect, unlike workers from other countries”.

“They are from other parts of the world, from different cultures, it is a pleasure to work with them. Their commitment is a good example,” he added.

Indonesian migrant workers in the UK: ‘Third fastest fruit picker’, earnings are huge, but ‘costs to agents are so high’
Under investigation the costs that workers have to pay outside of visas and flights

These workers were recruited by AG Recruitment, one of the four authorized agencies in the UK, through Managing Director Doug Amesz, who spent six weeks in Indonesia to recruit in person.

However, departures in Indonesia are regulated by PT Al Zubara Manpower Indonesia (PT AMI), a migrant worker placement company.

“In terms of regulations in Indonesia, placement must go through the company (placement of migrant workers) P3MI, through an official agent. Al Zubara, one of the recruitment agencies that has permission from the Ministry of Manpower to recruit. The one who does the recruitment is AG, “said Didi Haryanto from PT Al Zubara.

PT AMI set a fee of IDR 45 million, including training costs and company fees, in addition to visas and flights.

Departure fees that workers have to pay to PT Al Zubara.
Regarding placement fees, AG Recruitment in response to BBC News Indonesia said it was focusing its investigation into what fees workers pay, “other than visas and travel expenses”.

AG Recruitment also said they are “working closely with the Indonesian authorities directly to understand the problems arising from third party intermediaries as we are concerned about the welfare of the workers”.

The Ministry of Manpower, through Suhartono, Director General of the Directorate General of Manpower Placement Development and Employment Opportunity Expansion admitted what they called “alleged overcharging with the range that workers have to pay between Rp75 million and Rp85 million”.

However, the Ministry of Manpower said the fee paid to PT AMI was “Rp 45 million in accordance with the Placement Agreement (PP) signed by PMIs before leaving with PT AMI”.

Suhartono also stated that the placement agreement had been verified by the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency, BP2MI, and was known by the Manpower Office of the district where the workers came from.

Oli Pascall, Managing Director of Clock House Farm said his party wanted to ensure Indonesian workers wishing to return to the UK paid the lowest possible departure fees.
The hefty fees paid by the workers surprised plantations like Clock House Farm.

Of the approximately 800 workers from nine countries on the plantation, Indonesian workers are the most.

“As a plantation company, we Clock House Farm, use one of the four government-sanctioned recruitment agencies to recruit workers. This agency seeks workers from all over the world to work in the UK. We use one of those agencies and they have to show us they are doing their best to put workers on plantations in the UK,” Oli said.

“As we have just realized there is a fee that some workers are paying, we are working closely with recruitment agencies to ensure we find a solution to this new problem we have become aware of,” he added.

Ia also said that his party ensures sufficient working hours for workers.

“We provide at least 35 hours of work a week on average in the seasonal worker scheme,” said Oli.

Only 1,274 Indonesian workers from the request of 2,000 workers

Plantations such as Clock House Farm supply fruit to major supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
Apart from Clock House Farm, Indonesian workers are spread across 15 plantations across the UK.

The UK needs tens of thousands of seasonal workers every year.

Recruitment agencies, including AG Recruitment, are seeking employment outside Europe amid the UK’s seasonal labor shortage due to Brexit as well as the war in Ukraine.

Before Brexit and the war in Ukraine, many seasonal workers came from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria.

Last year, of the tens of thousands of workers needed on plantations, two-thirds came from Ukraine as well as Russia.

Workers on the Harwill estate, Nottinghamshire.
This year, recruiting agencies are looking from more distant countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan.

So far, more than 1,400 Indonesian workers have been recruited to the UK but only 1,274 have been placed, a number that is still far from the demand for 2,000 workers from Indonesia.

‘The cost is so huge… finding money is hard’

Gede Suardika in front of the caravan, accommodation for the workers for six months.
© Gede Suardika
For Gede Suardika, so far his main complaint is the high cost. “In Indonesia, it is difficult to find money, and we are being charged quite a lot. If we work, we get work chemistry for a week .”

Meanwhile, Ozzy, who works on the same plantation, said that his friends, who also incur high departure costs, have difficulty paying off their debts.

“Those who are already married are hard enough to pay the price (Rp. 65 million), but those who are not married can save to cover the payment, from about two or three months they can cover the departure money,” he added.

Ozzy also said that there were a number of his colleagues “who were subject to brokers and some even paid up to Rp75 million and even up to Rp90 million”.

The BBC contacted at least 20 seasonal workers on other plantations who said their costs were between Rp60-Rp80 million and even more.

Agus Hariyono – from Temanggung, Central Java, who used to work as a property developer,including the one who paid a fee of Rp. 65 million.

Likewise with Pingkan Lydia Christine, a kindergarten teacher in Jakarta who works on the same plantation as Agus, Dearnsdale Farm, Stafford.

They say that by working about 10 hours a day, their income is “enough to cover” their debts for travel expenses.

A number of fruit pickers from Indonesia were appointed as supervisors in several plantations.
A number of workers at the Mansfields estate, Middle Pett, Kent, also had a similar story and had to work long hours to cover departure debts.

Eni, who worked at Rock Farm, Ross-on-Wye, and her friends also had to spend about that amount.

This worker from Cilacap, Central Java, said that “there are even friends who from Bali spent Rp. 100 million”.

Eni said that her salary in this year’s pick-up season could be used “to pay for the capital” to leave and carry the “leftovers” when she returned to Indonesia.

Eni did not mention in detail the “remaining” money that he could bring back to Indonesia.

However, the woman, who worked as a tailor while in Cilacap, admitted that she had experienced a decrease in working hours because “the fruit harvest was starting to decrease”.

“Thank God I myself became a supervisor . So far there have been no complaints, only the working hours [reduced], it seems that all farms are like that,” said Eni.

The BBC contacted a number of farms including Rock Farm to inquire about the hours worked per week, but did not receive an answer until this news was published.

‘Training costs should be borne by the state’

Socialization of workers who want to go to England by BP2MI Manado.
For many Indonesian workers, the cost of departure is the main obstacle.

The cost set by PT AMI at Rp45 million – a fund that includes training and company costs of Rp20 million – was criticized by Migrant Care, an advocacy body for the protection of migrant workers.

Didi Haryanto from PT Al Zubara said their training was carried out because “one of the requirements for placing migrant workers is certification, so we have to educate them according to the existing jobs “.

“For example, in agriculture, we cooperate with strawberry plantations that have minimum qualifications to know the system of planting, maintenance until harvest and post-harvest. That’s a requirement in Indonesia, so we did that,” added Didi.

However, workers in Indonesia who have arrived in the UK receive on-the-job training , including at Clock House Farm.

“They are not expected to receive training [in their home country] before they arrive. We provide all of that. So when they arrive, they go straight to work while being trained [and getting a salary],” said Oli Pascall.

Regarding the cost of this training, Suhartono, Director General of Binapenta acknowledged that PT AMI had job training at the Center for Development and Quality Assurance of Agricultural Vocational Education.

The average departure fee paid by Indonesian workers is IDR 65 million and many more.
© Clock House Harm
Who withdraws tens of millions of rupiah from the workers?

Anis Hidayah, Head of the Center for Migration Studies, Migrant Care, said that the placement fees and training fees imposed on workers violate the Law on the Protection of Migrant Workers.

“Based on Article 30 of the Law on the Protection of Migrant Workers, they cannot be charged. This is reinforced by BP2MI regulation No. 9, 2020 concerning free of charge for migrant workers,” said Anis.

“While Article 30 letter O, it is stated that training for migrant workers is provided from the central government at the expense of the education function … so that migrant workers do not need pre-departure training, moreover jobs in the UK already exist on the job training (training and paid), it should not and should be questioned because it violates if a fee is charged, it should be free (free of charge),” he added.

Regarding the cost of tens of millions apart from the Rp45 million set by PT Al Zubara, Anis accused the distributors in the area of ​​being “connected to the placement company”.

“Calo do not work independently but are connected and networked with placement companies whether formally or informally. So some of them are also company field officers to recruit people.

“Middlers are still fertile because supervision and law enforcement are not working,” said Anis again.

PT Al Zubara has not yet responded to the BBC’s questions regarding the fees charged by suppliers or vocational education institutions in the area involved in sending seasonal workers to the UK.

The cost to the UK is as low as possible

Strawberry picking job.
© Clock House Farm
The seasonal worker scheme according to the UK Home Office will last “until the end of 2024” with the aim of “ensuring plantation owners have the necessary support and labour”.

The Ministry of Manpower stated that a number of Indonesian workers adapted quickly and many of them were appointed as supervisors.

A number of them, including Gede, Suardika, Ozzy, Agus and Pingkan, said they would really like to return to British plantations next picking season, this time “to save money”.

Their work for these six months, they said, they used to settle the “debt” of high departure fees.

They expressed hope that they would only have to pay the visa and flight fees when they return to the UK next year.

“I want to go back because the work is not heavy, the salary is decent compared to our country,” said Suardika, closing the conversation.

For plantation owners, such as Oli Pascall, the workers’ desire to return is “very good news”.

“We want them back here because I believe there are great job opportunities in England for people from all over the world.”

“But we want to make sure there is a clear process and the lowest possible cost for these people to work on UK plantations,” Oli said.

Pekerja migran Indonesia di Inggris: ‘Pemetik buah tercepat ketiga’, pendapatan sangat besar, tapi ‘biaya ke agen begitu tinggi’
22 September 2022
Endang Nurdin
BBC News Indonesia
Pekerja musiman Indonesia
Keterangan gambar,
Gede Suardika mengatakan kepada wartawan BBC News Indonesia, Endang Nurdin, dia harus membayar Rp70 juta ke agen penyalur sebelum bisa diberangkatkan untuk bekerja di perkebunan di Inggris. Ada pekerja lain yang bahkan membayar Rp100 juta.
Seorang pekerja musiman Indonesia di perkebunan Inggris menjadi pemetik buah tercepat ketiga, hanya setelah lebih satu bulan bekerja. Namun keluhan utamanya adalah biaya keberangkatan yang ia bayar ke agen penyalur di Indonesia “begitu besar” sehingga ia terpaksa berutang.
“Astungkara, saya pemetik buah tercepat ketiga, pemetik pertama dapat sekitar 100 tray (baki), saya cuma 75 tray, belum bisa melampaui pemetik nomor satu yang sudah berpengalaman.”

Gede Suardika Widi Adnyana, pemuda asal Bali yang berusia 20 tahun itu, banyak senyum ketika menceritakan pengalamannya bekerja di perkebunan Clock House, Maidstone, Kent, Inggris selatan.
Kurang dari dua bulan bekerja, Suardika disebut sudah bisa bersaing dengan pekerja yang sudah lama berpengalaman.
“Bekerja di farm sangat mengasyikkan, bekerjanya juga enggak terlalu berat,” katanya.
Ia adalah satu dari 318 pekerja Indonesia yang ditempatkan di perkebunan tersebut melalui salah satu dari empat agen penyalur resmi Inggris, AG Recruitment. Tetapi keberangkatan dari Indonesia diatur oleh PT Al Zubara Manpower Indonesia.
Baca juga:
Gaji TKI di Inggris sekitar Rp23 juta per bulan
Warung Indonesia di London: Jualan Nasi Padang, bakso, bertahan di tengah pandemi
Suardika termasuk salah seorang dari 1.274 orang yang telah ditempatkan di Inggris, kelompok pertama pekerja musiman dari Indonesia.
Ia baru lulus diploma wisata di Bali, ketika mendengar ada peluang untuk bekerja di perkebunan Inggris.
Namun, untuk berangkat ke Inggris, Suardika harus meminjam uang ke bank melalui pamannya, sebesar Rp70 juta, dana yang ia cicil pembayarannya.

Keterangan video,
Pemetik buah musiman asal Indonesia di Inggris: Terbebani biaya besar sebelum berangkat hi
“Biaya saya Rp70 juta, harus dibayar ke agency, ada penyalur, untuk menyambung ke agency. Dibilangnya sih untuk biaya visa, sidik jari, KTKLN [Kartu Tenaga Kerja Luar Negeri] dan tiket pesawat bolak balik,” kata Suardika ketika ditemui wartawan BBC News Indonesia, Endang Nurdin di Clock House Farm.
“Training pemetikan buah tak ada,” tambahnya.
Dengan kecepatan bekerja seperti sekarang, kata Suardika, ia dapat menyisihkan sekitar £400 (sekitar Rp7 juta dengan nilai tukar saat ini) bersih per satu minggu.
“Gaji saya rata-rata £500 (Rp8,7 juta) per minggu, sempat saat buah banyak saya dapat £670 lebih… dipotong biaya akomodasi, makan, biaya pribadi seperti internet, saya bisa simpan £400 [per minggu],” cerita Suardika setelah selesai shift-nya.
Gede Sudiarka.
Keterangan gambar,
Gede Sudiarka meminjam uang ke bank melalui pamannya untuk biaya keberangkatan sebesar Rp70 juta ke agen penyalur.
Gaji untuk pekerja musiman di Inggris ditetapkan sebesar £10,10 (Rp174.000) per jam, di atas upah minimum sebesar £9,50 per jam.
Claudiu Netiou – mentor perkebunan yang melatih Suardika – mengatakan dengan cara bekerja seperti sekarang, ia bisa menjadi pemetik tercepat pada musim-musim petik mendatang.
“Pemetik buah tercepat berasal dari Rumania yang telah bekerja memetik blackberi selama 12 tahun. Gede (Suardika) bekerja di tim yang sama dan baru memetik buah selama lebih sebulan. Saya rasa dalam musim-musim ke depan, dia akan lebih maju dan bisa menjadi pemetik tercepat,” kata Claudiu yang dulu mengawali pekerjaannya sebagai pemetik buah.
Di perkebunan-perkebunan Inggris, para pemetik buah biasanya dibagi dalam tim yang terdiri dari sekitar 35 orang.
Para pekerja memetik stroberi, rasberi, bluberi, blackberi, apel dan plum, hasil buah yang sebagian besar dipasok ke supermarket besar, termasuk Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, dan Tesco.
‘Komitmen pekerja Indonesia contoh bagus’
Pekerja musiman Indonesia
Keterangan gambar,
Ozzy, pekerja asal Tegal mengatakan banyak teman-temannya yang terjerat calo.
Ozzy Agista Indrawan, pekerja asal Tegal, Jawa Tengah, di perkebunan yang sama, mengaku belum secepat Suardika, namun cara dia bekerja, memastikannya “akan diangkat sebagai supervisor” (pengawas) saat kembali pada musim petik depan.
“Waktu awal-awal masuk dari 35 karyawan, saya dapat di tempat ke 27 tapi sekarang per minggu, nomor delapan atau 11 dari 35 orang. Timnya campur, ada orang Rumania, Macedonia. Yang harus dicontoh, orang Rumania, kerjanya cepat dan etos kerjanya juga bagus,” kata Ozzy, yang baru pertama kerja di perkebunan.
Sebelumnya dia bekerja secara musiman di pabrik dan sektor wisata, masing-masing di Jepang dan Dubai.
Dengan bekerja seperti sekarang, kata Ozzy, ia menghasilkan “pendapatan sangat besar, kita dapat gaji £400 bersih setelah dipotong makan dan lain-lain, kita bisa dapat Rp30 juta bersih dalam satu bulan, itu saja sudah bersyukur.”
Baca juga:
Nasib TKI di Inggris saat ‘lockdown’ – ‘Tak bisa kerja, utang untuk makan membengkak’
Rumah makan di London, satu dari ribuan bisnis yang mencoba bangkit di tengah resesi, akibat pandemi virus corona
Mentor di Clock House Farm, Claudiu, mengatakan pekerja Indonesia “memiliki tingkat komitmen dan rasa hormat yang tinggi, berbeda dengan pekerja dari negara-negara lain”.
“Mereka berasal dari belahan dunia lain, dari budaya yang berbeda, senang bekerja dengan mereka. Komitmen mereka merupakan contoh bagus,” tambahnya.
Tengah diselidiki biaya yang harus dibayar pekerja di luar visa dan penerbangan
Para pekerja ini direkrut oleh AG Recruitment, salah satu dari empat agen resmi di Inggris, melalui Direktur Pengelola Doug Amesz, yang berada selama enam minggu di Indonesia untuk merekrut secara langsung.
Namun keberangkatan di Indonesia diatur oleh PT Al Zubara Manpower Indonesia (PT AMI), perusahaan penempatan pekerja migran.
“Dari sisi regulasi di Indonesia, penempatan harus melalui perusahaan (penempatan pekerja migran) P3MI, melalui agen resmi. Al Zubara, salah satu recruitment agency yang punya izin dari Kementerian Tenaga Kerja untuk merekrut. Yang melakukan recruitment adalah AG,” kata Didi Haryanto dari PT Al Zubara.
PT AMI ini menetapkan biaya Rp45 juta, termasuk biaya pelatihan dan biaya perusahaan, selain visa dan penerbangan.
biaya keberangkatan pekerja musiman Indonesia.
Keterangan gambar,
Biaya keberangkatan yang harus dibayar para pekerja ke PT Al Zubara.
Terkait biaya penempatan, AG Recruitment dalam tanggapan kepada BBC News Indonesia mengatakan mereka tengah memusatkan penyelidikan atas biaya apa saja yang dibayar pekerja, “selain visa dan biaya perjalanan”.
AG Recruitment juga mengatakan mereka “bekerja sama dengan pihak berwenang di Indonesia secara langsung untuk memahami masalah yang muncul dari perantara pihak ketiga karena kami prihatin dengan kesejahteraan para pekerja”.
Baca juga:
Kisah pekerja domestik Indonesia diangkat dalam buku
PRT Indonesia di London: menikmati kebebasan pribadi
Kementerian Tenaga Kerja, melalui Suhartono, Direktur Jendral Direktorat Jenderal Pembinaan Penempatan Tenaga Kerja dan Perluasan Kesempatan Kerja mengakui apa yang mereka sebut “dugaan overcharging dengan kisaran yang harus dibayar pekerja antara Rp75 juta sampai Rp85 juta”.
Namun Kemenaker mengatakan biaya yang dibayar kepada PT AMI sebesar “Rp45 juta sesuai dengan Perjanjian Penempatan (PP) yang telah ditandatangani oleh para PMI sebelum berangkat dengan PT AMI”.
Suhartono juga menyatakan perjanjian penempatan telah diverifikasi oleh Badan Perlindungan Pekerja Migran Indonesia, BP2MI, dan diketahui oleh Dinas Tenaga Kerja Kabupaten asal para pekerja.
Oli Pascall, Direktur Pengelola Clock House Farm.
Keterangan gambar,
Oli Pascall, Direktur Pengelola Clock House Farm mengatakan pihaknya ingin memastikan pekerja Indonesia yang ingin kembali ke Inggris, membayar biaya keberangkatan serendah mungkin.
Biaya besar yang dibayar para pekerja mengejutkan pihak perkebunan seperti Clock House Farm.
Dari sekitar 800 pekerja yang berasal dari sembilan negara di perkebunan itu, pekerja Indonesia adalah yang terbanyak.
“Sebagai pihak perkebunan, kami Clock House Farm, menggunakan satu dari empat badan perekrutan yang diizinkan pemerintah untuk merekrut pekerja. Badan ini mencari pekerja dari seluruh dunia untuk bekerja di Inggris. Kami menggunakan salah satu dari badan itu dan mereka harus menunjukkan kepada kami, mereka melakukan langkah terbaik untuk menempatkan para pekerja di perkebunan di Inggris,” kata Oli.
“Karena kami baru sadar ada biaya yang dibayar sejumlah pekerja, kami bekerja sama secara erat dengan badan-badan perekrutan untuk memastikan kami mencari solusi atas masalah yang baru kami sadari ini,” tambahnya.
Ia juga mengatakan pihaknya pihaknya memastikan jam kerja cukup bagi pekerja.
“Kami menyediakan setidaknya 35 jam kerja seminggu rata-rata dalam skema pekerja musiman,” kata Oli.
Baru 1.274 pekerja Indonesia dari permintaan 2.000 pekerja
Clock House Farm
Keterangan gambar,
Perkebunan seperti Clock House Farm memasok buah ke supermarket besar, termasuk Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s dan Tesco.
Selain di Clock House Farm, para pekerja Indonesia tersebar di sekitar 15 perkebunan di seluruh Inggris.
Inggris memerlukan puluhan ribu pekerja musiman setiap tahun.
Agen-agen perekrutan, termasuk AG Recruitment, mencari tenaga kerja di luar Eropa di tengah kekurangan tenaga kerja musiman yang dialami Inggris akibat Brexit dan juga karena perang di Ukraina.
Sebelum Brexit dan perang di Ukraina, banyak pekerja musiman yang datang dari Polandia, Rumania, Bulgaria.
Tahun lalu, dari puluhan ribu tenaga kerja yang diperlukan di perkebunan, dua pertiga di antaranya berasal dari Ukraina dan juga Rusia.
Pekerja di perkebunan Harwill, Nottinghamshire.
Keterangan gambar,
Pekerja di perkebunan Harwill, Nottinghamshire.
Tahun ini, agen perekrut mencari dari negara yang lebih jauh termasuk Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan dan Kyrgystan.
Sejauh ini, lebih 1.400 tenaga kerja Indonesia telah direkrut untuk ke Inggris namun yang telah ditempatkan baru 1.274, jumlah yang masih jauh dari kebutuhan 2.000 pekerja dari Indonesia.
‘Biaya sangat begitu besar… cari uang susah’
Gede Suardika.
Keterangan gambar,
Gede Suardika di depan karavan, akomodasi bagi para pekerja selama enam bulan.
Bagi Gede Suardika, sejauh ini keluhan utamanya adalah biaya yang begitu besar. “Di Indonesia cari uang susah, dan kita ditarik biaya lumayan besar. Kalau kerjanya, seminggu sudah dapat chemistry kerja.”
Sementara Ozzy yang bekerja di perkebunan yang sama, mengatakan teman-temannya yang juga mengeluarkan biaya keberangkatan tinggi kesulitan untuk menutup utang.
“Yang sudah berkeluarga cukup berat untuk membayar harga itu (Rp65 juta), tapi yang belum berkeluarga bisa nabung untuk menutupi pembayaran itu, dari sekitar dua atau tiga bulan bisa menutup uang pemberangkatan,” tambahnya.
Ozzy juga mengatakan ada sejumlah rekannya “yang kena calo dan ada yang bahkan bayar sampai Rp75 juta bahkan sampai Rp90 juta”.
BBC mengontak setidaknya 20 pekerja musiman di perkebunan lain yang menyatakan biaya yang mereka keluarkan antara Rp60-Rp80 juta dan bahkan lebih.
Agus Hariyono – asal Temanggung, Jawa Tengah, yang dulu bekerja sebagai property developer, termasuk yang membayar biaya sebesar Rp65 juta.
Begitu juga dengan Pingkan Lydia Christine, guru TK di Jakarta yang bekerja di perkebunan yang sama dengan Agus, Dearnsdale Farm, Stafford.
Mereka mengatakan dengan bekerja sekitar 10 jam sehari, penghasilan yang mereka dapat “cukup untuk menutup” utang biaya pemberangkatan.
petik buah strawberi,
Keterangan gambar,
Sejumlah pemetik buah asal Indonesia diangkat menjadi supervisor di beberapa perkebunan.
Sejumlah pekerja di perkebunan Mansfields, Middle Pett, Kent, juga memiliki kisah yang sama dan harus bekerja dalam waktu yang panjang guna menutup utang pemberangkatan.
Eni, yang bekerja di Rock Farm, Ross-on-Wye, dan teman-temannya juga harus mengeluarkan uang sekisar itu.
Pekerja asal Cilacap, Jawa Tengah, ini mengatakan “bahkan ada teman yang dari Bali mengeluarkan Rp100 juta”.
Eni mengatakan hasil gajinya dalam penempatan musim petik tahun ini, dapat digunakan “untuk membayar modal” berangkat dan membawa “sisa” saat kembali ke Indonesia.
Eni tak menyebut rinci “sisa” uang yang bisa ia bawa pulang ke Indonesia.
Namun perempuan yang bekerja sebagai penjahit saat di Cilacap ini, mengakui ia mengalami penurunan jam kerja karena “panen buah yang mulai berkurang”.
“Saya sendiri alhamdulillah jadi supervisor. Sejauh ini tak ada keluhan hanya jam kerjanya saja [berkurang], sepertinya semua farm begitu,” cerita Eni.
BBC mengontak sejumlah perkebunan termasuk Rock Farm untuk menanyakan jam kerja per minggu, namun belum mendapatkan jawaban sampai berita ini diturunkan.
‘Biaya pelatihan seharusnya ditanggung negara’
Pekerja musiman Indonesia
Keterangan gambar,
Sosialisasi pekerja yang ingin ke Inggris oleh BP2MI Manado.
Bagi banyak pekerja Indonesia, biaya keberangkatan yang menjadi ganjalan utama.
Biaya yang ditetapkan PT AMI sebesar Rp45 juta – dana yang mencakup pelatihan dan biaya perusahaan sebesar Rp20 juta – dikritik Migrant Care, badan advokasi perlindungan pekerja migran.
Anis Hidayah, Ketua Pusat Studi Migrasi, Migrant Care mengatakan biaya seperti ini dikategorikan ilegal karena seharusnya “penempatan tenaga kerja tidak dikenakan biaya.”
Namun Didi Haryanto dari PT Al Zubara mengatakan pelatihan mereka lakukan karena “salah satu persyaratan penempatan pekerja migran adalah sertifikasi, jadi kami harus mendidik mereka sesuai dengan job yang ada”.
“Misalnya pertanian, kami kerja sama dengan perkebunan stroberi yang punya kualifikasi minimal mengenal sistem penanaman, pemeliharaan sampai panen dan pasca panen. Itu persyaratan di Indonesia sehingga kami melakukan itu,” tambah Didi.
Tetapi para pekerja di Indonesia yang telah tiba di Inggris mendapatkan pelatihan sambil bekerja, “on the job training”, termasuk di Clock House Farm.
“Mereka tidak diharapkan untuk mendapat pelatihan [di negara asal] sebelum mereka tiba. Kami menyediakan semua itu. Jadi saat tiba, mereka langsung bekerja sambal dilatih [dan mendapatkan gaji],” kata Oli Pascall.
Menyangkut biaya pelatihan ini, Suhartono, Dirjen Binapenta mengakui ada pelatihan kerja oleh PT AMI di di Balai Besar Pengembangan dan Penjaminan Mutu Pendidikan Vokasi Pertanian.

Pekerja musiman Indonesia
Keterangan gambar,
Rata-rata biaya keberangkatan yang dibayar para pekerja Indonesia sebesar Rp65 juta dan bahkan banyak yang lebih.
Siapa yang menarik dana puluhan juta rupiah dari para pekerja?
Anis Hidayah, dari Migrant Care mengatakan, biaya penempatan dan biaya pelatihan yang dikenakan pada pekerja melanggar Undang-Undang Perlindungan Pekerja Migran.
“Berdasarkan Pasal 30 UU Perlindungan Pekerja migran, mereka tidak dapat dikenai biaya, itu diperkuat dengan peraturan BP2MI No 9, 2020 tentang bebas biaya bagi para pekerja migran,” kata Anis.
“Sementara Pasal 30 huruf O, disebutkan pelatihan bagi para pekerja migran disediakan dari pemerintah pusat dengan biaya dari fungsi pendidikan … sehingga pekerja migran tak perlu ditraining pra pemberangkatan, apalagi pekerjaan di Inggris sudah ada on the job training (pelatihan dan dibayar), mestinya tidak boleh dan harus dipertanyakan karena melanggar kalau ditarik biaya, harusnya free (bebas biaya),” tambahnya.
Menyangkut biaya puluhan juta lain di luar Rp45 juta yang ditetapkan oleh PT Al Zubara, Anis menuding penyalur di daerah “terkoneksi dengan perusahaan penempatan”.
“Calo tak kerja secara mandiri tapi terkoneksi dan berjejaring dengan perusahaan penempatan apakah secara formal ataupun informal. Jadi sebagian di antara mereka juga petugas lapangan perusahaan untuk merekrut orang.
“Calo masih subur karena pengawasan dan penegakan hukum tidak jalan,” kata Anis lagi.
PT Al Zubara belum menjawab pertanyaan BBC terkait biaya yang ditarik penyalur atau lembaga pendidikan ketrampilan di daerah yang terlibat dalam pemberangkatan pekerja musiman ke Inggris.
Biaya ke Inggris serendah mungkin
Pekerjaan memetik stroberi
Keterangan gambar,
Pekerjaan memetik stroberi.
Skema pekerja musiman ini menurut Kementerian Dalam Negeri Inggris akan berlangsung “sampai akhir 2024” dengan tujuan “menjamin para pemilik perkebunan mendapatkan dukungan dan tenaga kerja yang diperlukan”.
Kementerian Tenaga Kerja menyatakan sejumlah pekerja Indonesia beradaptasi dengan cepat dan banyak di antara mereka yang diangkat sebagai supervisor.
Sejumlah di antara mereka termasuk Gede, Suardika, Ozzy, Agus serta Pingkan mengatakan sangat ingin kembali ke perkebunan Inggris pada musim petik depan, kali ini “untuk menabung”.
Kerja mereka selama enam bulan ini, kata mereka, mereka gunakan untuk menyelesaikan “utang” biaya keberangkatan yang tinggi.
Mereka menyatakan harapan hanya perlu membayar biaya visa dan penerbangan saja bila kembali ke Inggris tahun depan.
“Saya ingin balik karena kerjaan gak berat, gaji lumayan dibanding di negara kita,” kata Suardika menutup pembicaran.
Bagi pemilik perkebunan, seperti Oli Pascall, keinginan para pekerja untuk kembali merupakan “berita sangat bagus”.
“Kami ingin mereka kembali ke sini karena saya yakin, ada peluang kerja yang bagus di Inggris ini untuk orang dari seluruh dunia.”
“Namun kami ingin memastikan, ada proses yang jelas dan biaya serendah mungkin bagi mereka ini untuk bekerja di perkebunan-perkebunan di Inggris,” kata Oli.

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