Here is the first in a series of profiles of the lovely people who actually make our furniture, and who also benefit from your actual (or potential) investment in the Fair Trade model.
This month we are focussing on Subiat, senior carpenter with Pondok Kayu Tropis, one of our two partners on Java.
Subiat’s answers to our questions
1. How long have you been working for Pondok Kayu Tropis?
I have been working with Pondok Kayu Tropis for over 10 years. Before I started working here, I was working as a furniture carpenter for a small company here in Kendal.
2. What does your job involve?
When I started at Pondok Kayu Tropis, I was one of the carpentry team, making Tri’s production of knock down houses, bungalows, etc.
These houses are sometimes also shipped with complete kitchen cabinets, doors, and wardrobes, so the company could use someone with my mixture of skills. Now I work full time on the FTF Co production team, as the senior carpenter.
3. What are your main responsibilities when it comes to the Fair Trade Furniture orders?
I am responsible for all panels for the Semarang chairs and sofas, cabinets, lamps and planters. I also produce the Jepara chair skeletons, legs for all models, mostly our chairs and sofas. I have also built the jigs for the new 2-part coffee tables, and am also in charge of making this new product.
4. What makes PKT different from other places of work?
I do not have much to compare to, since I was working only on a construction site, before starting working here.
5. What do you particularly like about working for PKT?
What I like about Pondok Kaju Yropis the most, is the working environment, it is clean and when it rains I do not get wet, when it is hot, I do not get warm…
6. What are the most important things in your life apart from work?
My most important things outside from here, is my crop, my land… my ricefields.
I have saved my money to be able to create an extra income, by contracting land and growing various crops there: rice, tobacco. When we are harvesting the crop, that’s the only time I am not working at the factory during the whole year!
Additional comments from PKT’s General Manager Tommy Fredriksson
When our production for FTFCo started, it was a logical move to include Subiat, considering his background, into our new FTFCo group. He is a very quiet shy guy, hard working and loyal. He has taught, and continues every day to teach our apprentices and junior carpenters a lot, so helping to improve and diversify their skills, benefiting our overall production.
Subiat is 53 years old, our factory senior.
His education is very limited, not more than a couple of years in school! He doesn’t feel very comfortable with reading and writing. However he is an extremely skilled carpenter.
He is married and has three children all grown up and married.