Indonesia, Vietnam discuss minimum wage for workers
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh discussed the minimum wage for workers in Southeast Asia and the fate of Vietnamese fishermen in Indonesia during their bilateral meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday.
In the meeting, Kalla and Binh agreed to coordinate and hold further discussions on the minimum wage for industrial workers in the region.
Kalla said establishing a minimum wage was important to ensure better welfare for workers in neighboring countries that are investment destinations for labor-intensive industries, such as Vietnam.
“We want to cooperate to ensure that workers [in the region] are not continuously pressed upon by the industry,” Kalla said on Tuesday. “We are also talking about establishing a minimum wage in ASEAN.”
Kalla said industrial competition should not forsake the welfare of workers, whose salary was relatively low due to intense competition in labor-intensive industries.
Vietnam is among Indonesia’s major competitors in Southeast Asia for investment in labor-intensive industries. In 2015, Indonesia’s monthly average minimum wage stood at US$123, higher than Vietnam at $118.
Kalla said the collaboration was still at an early stage. Binh also requested Jakarta’s attention over Vietnamese fishermen being detained by Indonesian authorities for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters, he added.
“We will process them through the legal system and I said [to Binh] that we will immediately conclude it so that our bilateral relations with Vietnam will not be disrupted." (ebf)
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