The Jakarta Post
Workers from a number of companies in Makassar staged a rally on Thursday, demanding the South Sulawesi provincial administration raise both the regional minimum wage (UMR) and the city minimum wage (UMK) for the upcoming year.
They said that the current South Sulawesi minimum wage of Rp 2.16 million (US$198) and the Makassar minimum wage of Rp 2.25 million per month was not adequate for basic living needs following skyrocketing food and fuel prices.
'The current minimum wage is unable to support workers, especially those supporting families. We urge the provincial and the city administrations to raise the minimum wage 50 percent for next year,' said rally coordinator Akbar.
'We make big contributions to the economy, but we only earn a small amount of money for our hard work,' he added.
The protesters also demanded that the government abandon outsourcing in private and state companies, which they said violated their rights.
They also demanded that the President cancel Presidential Instruction No. 9/2013 on the minimum wage immediately, saying that the instruction did not bring any benefit to workers.
Moreover, Akbar warned of a national strike scheduled for Oct. 28 to 30.
'Today's rally is just the beginning. We call on all South Sulawesi people to support the strike to express concern over the problem,' said Akbar.
Not only in South Sulawesi, workers in Central Java have also demanded a wage increase. In Semarang, four workers went on a hunger strike as part of their protest, saying that the minimum wage in most regions was considered too low. Workers in West Cilacap, for instance, only take home Rp 816,000 per month.
A representative of the workers, Prabowo, said that Governor Ganjar Pranowo had to offer a win-win solution for both employers and workers to solve the wage issue and improve workers' welfare as promised in his campaign to become governor.
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