Police will deploy around 15,000 officers to safeguard Wednesday’s labor strike, in which 23,000 workers from around Greater Jakarta will participate, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto says.
About 5,000 workers from the capital, 5,000 from Tangerang, 3,000 from Depok and 10,000 from Bekasi are expected to stage rallies in various areas on Wednesday.
Rallies are expected to be staged in front of the Presidential Palace, the National Monument (Monas) and the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, all in Central Jakarta.
“From the notification the police received, 23,000 workers will stage strikes in their respective areas. We, however, will not underestimate the situation and will be on guard over the possibility that the number will increase and workers will hit the streets,” he said, adding that the number of protesters could increase as other workers may join out of solidarity.
Rikwanto said the police had prepared 10,000 officers from police precincts and mobile brigades and 5,000 military personnel. The officers will be deployed to guard industrial areas throughout Jakarta, Tangerang, Bekasi and Depok and several vital buildings and public facilities, including toll roads.
He added that the police would divert traffic around the East Jakarta Industrial Park (EJIP) and the Cikarang Barat tollgate and called on road users to avoid the areas.
Strikes have been organized by the Indonesian Workers Assembly (MPBI) and the Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers Union (FPSMI) to demand an increase in the minimum wage and the elimination of the outsourcing employment system.
In January, thousands of rallying workers in Bekasi and Tangerang blocked roads connecting neighboring regencies to Jakarta, causing severe traffic congestion. The rally was conducted in response to a lawsuit filed by the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) at the Bandung State Administrative Court (PTUN), challenging the West Java and Banten administrations on regional minimum wages. Apindo eventually withdrew its lawsuit. (aml/swd)