The labor protests over minimum wage demands that recently occurred in some parts of Indonesia should have been anticipated by the government.
The demonstrations revealed that the minimum wage was far from sufficient to ensure workers’ survival. Even in Jakarta, the minimum wage for 2012 remains below the income of people living in poverty, especially for workers who support a family of five or more.
The minimum wage in Jakarta for 2012 is set at Rp 1,529,150 (US$170) per month, or an average of Rp 305,830 per each household member. So, if only the breadwinner of a family of five works, all family members would be categorized as poor given the government’s poverty line benchmark of Rp 355,480 set in 2011.
The minimum spending to separate the poor from the non-poor for 2012 has not been calculated yet, but the figure is expected to increase from the 2011 mark.