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Jakarta Post

Workers warn of nationwide strike

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 22, 2013   /  09:19 am
Workers warn of nationwide strike

National dialogue: Workers attend a gathering to discuss labor issues with government officials, labor activists and informal leaders at Bung Karno Sports complex in Jakarta on Monday. JP/P.J. Leo

Thousands of workers from various associations staged a protest in front of the House of Representatives on Jl. Gatot Subroto on Monday morning, occupying the main thoroughfare and causing congestion in the surrounding area.

The Traffic Management Center (TMC) announced diversions on its official Twitter account at 10:15 a.m. as the protesters began to arrive at the rally location.

The police closed some parts of the road and redirected Slipi-bound vehicles to Jl. Asia Afrika and Jl. Gerbang Pemuda in Central Jakarta, while Transjakarta buses did not use their regular lane, entering the inner city toll road instead.

Jakarta Police Spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said 8,565 personnel from the police, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the city'€™s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) joined forces to secure the workers'€™ rally.

After the rally ended at 11:45 a.m., traffic congestion continued around Pancoran and Mampang Prapatan in South Jakarta. Traffic in front of the House of Representatives returned to normal at around 2 p.m.

The workers held the rally to demand a more than 50 percent increase in the minimum wage. They also urged the government to implement social security (BPJS) on January 1, 2014 and to ban the practice of outsourcing. Currently, the provincial wage (UMP) in Jakarta is Rp 2.2 million (US$202) per month, the workers are demanding an increase to Rp 3.7 million.

The workers left the streets to gather at the Istora Stadium in Bung Karno Sports complex to join a national dialogue and musical performance.

Aris Siswadi, a member of the Indonesian Metal Workers Federation (FSPMI), said the demonstration on Monday aimed to remind lawmakers about their demands.

'€œThis is a warm-up for the upcoming strike that will be held on Oct. 28 and 29 if our demands are not met,'€ he said.

The protesters gave the state-owned enterprises minister a deadline of the end of this month to ban the practice of outsourcing employees in private and state-owned companies, otherwise the workers at state-owned companies would join the nationwide strike that could be prolonged to Nov. 1.

Earlier, the Jakarta Labor Forum also announced their plan to join the nationwide protest. They also plan to camp for three days outside City Hall.

The forum has called on Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama to improve the standard cost of living (KHL) index, including house rental and transportation costs. The forum claimed that the demand to raise the minimum provincial wage to Rp 3.7 million was reasonable as the country'€™s economy and per capita income were improving.

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