Hundreds of security officers at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport risk losing jobs over piercings and tattoos

Illustration of a tattoo artist. Photo: Pixabay
Illustration of a tattoo artist. Photo: Pixabay

Piercings and tattoos are threatening the livelihoods of some working at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport, as new company regulations are prohibiting body modifications for employees.

In a meeting with Nyoman Parta, who is a member of the House of Representatives (DPR), a number of people who said they have been working for years at Ngurah Rai expressed their concern over a new circular issued by airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura I, which prohibits workers from having tattoos or piercings, and stipulate that they must be 45 years old or younger. 

“Our contracts are no longer being extended because the firm issued a new rationalization through reselection. There are three criteria there; must not have tattoos, piercings, and 45 years is the age limit. Automatically, we are cut out,” Agus Amik Santosa, a worker who coordinated the meeting, told CNN Indonesia today. 

According to Amik, this is a brand new rule affecting at least 360 people who are working at the aviation security department in Ngurah Rai. Many workers are now worried that their contracts ⁠— due to expire at the end of this year ⁠— will not be extended, despite having worked at the facility for years. 

“The criteria are newly issued, whereas we have been working without such requirements. We were just working normally, no such rules existed before ⁠— if it existed from before then we wouldn’t have been hired,” Amik continued, adding that they are all licensed to do their jobs. 

Taufan Yudhistira, spokesman from airport management firm Angkasa Pura I, denounced the use of the word “firing” surrounding this issue, which is getting some traction. According to Taufan, all employee contracts within the firm are due to expire on Dec. 31, 2021. 

“On January 1, there will be new contracts, and for those new contracts we are doing a reselection. Why reselection? Because we are considering the number of human resources with operational requirements within our firm, we have to have a reselection,” Taufan said. 

That sounds reasonable enough, though we can’t help but wonder how having tattoos or piercings impair your ability to do work.

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