City issues 'welfare cards' for low-wage workers
Ivany Atina Arbi
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta administration has launched on Friday the Kartu Pekerja (Workers Card) to fulfil its promise to lower' daily expenses for workers earning the 2018 provincial minimum wage (UMP) or less.
The promise was made following a series of protests in November over the Rp 3.6 million (US$252) minimum wage set for 2018, which was less than the Rp 3.9 million that labor unions had demanded.
Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno explained that, with the card, workers could ride the Transjakarta bus for free and could buy daily needs like beef, chicken, eggs and rice at prices lower than market prices through city-owned wholesaler Jakgrosir.
Jakgrosir sells beef at Rp 35,000 per kilogram to holders of the hew Workers Card, while infopangan.jakarta.go.id lists the market price for beef as more than Rp 100,000 per kilogram. Jakgrosir sells chicken at Rp 8,000 per kg, rice at Rp 6,000 per kg and eggs at Rp 12,500 per kg.
“We want to make sure that the city’s low-wage workers have a lower cost of living. According to our study, about 30 percent of their salary goes to transportation expenses, and another 30 to 35 percent to daily needs,” Sandiaga said during the card’s launch at City Hall.
Jakarta Manpower Agency head Priyono said about 3,300 workers on minimum wage had already received their Worker Cards. Workers must possess a Jakarta resident ID and be paid less than Rp 3.6 million a month to be eligible for the new card.
Hundreds of companies have registered their workers with the agency to obtain the cards, but the agency must first verify their data.
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