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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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Workers plan to stage strike for minimum wage rise

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, October 2, 2014 | 10:33 pm

Factory workers united under the Confederation of Indonesian Workers'€™ Union (KSPI) will stage a two-day strike at the end of October, their latest walkout in the ongoing disputes with their employers over greater prosperity for employees.

'€œWe just wanted to voice our aspirations. They had never heard or followed up on our demands, however. Thus, we will stage a strike at factories we work for,'€ said KSPI secretary general Muhamad Rusdi, as quoted by Antara news agency, during a protest rally at Bundaran HI (Hotel Indonesia traffic circle) in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

He said the protest rally at Bundaran HI was just a '€œwarming up'€ as almost 2 million workers were set to stage a two-day strike if their demands were not fulfilled.

Rusdi said Indonesian workers would continue to urge the government to improve worker prosperity, to increase their minimum wage by 30 percent and to add more items of daily basic needs as Provincial Minimum Wage (UMK) components, as well as to continue voicing their rejection of fuel price hikes.

He went on to say that fuel price hike was a problem that brought heavy impacts to workers'€™ prosperity as there was around Rp 500,000 (US$41.14) in additional costs the workers must bear because of fuel price increases. The current minimum wage of Rp 2.4 million must be increased by 30 percent to Rp 3.2 million to match minimum wage rates in other developing countries.

Rusdi said the current daily basic need components that comprised 61 items did not yet reflect the decent living conditions Indonesian workers must have. The number of components must be increased to 84 items, including what was required to cover workers'€™ needs for recreation and for hygiene products, such as perfume or deodorant.

Rusdi added more needed to be done to give workers better health coverage as currently many hospitals refuse patients using the Social Security Provider Agency (BPJS) to access health sector facilities.

'€œOnly 86.4 million poor people have received health coverage provided by the state, while 50 million other poor people, including informal workers, are not yet covered,'€ said Rusdi. (ebf)