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Jakarta Post

Jambi workers reject new minimum wage

  • Jon Afrizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jambi   /   Thu, October 31, 2013   /  04:09 pm

A decree by Jambi Governor Hasan Basri Agus, which sets the province'€™s 2014 minimum wage at Rp 1,502,230 (US$133.7) has drawn protests from the provincial branch of the Indonesian Prosperous Labor Confederation (KSBI).

The confederation is urging the Jambi governor to review the decree and increase the province'€™s minimum wage to Rp 1.6 million.

According to the KSBI, the newly set minimum wage does not reflect workers'€™ basic cost of living (KHL).

'€œA minimum wage of Rp 1.6 million must be introduced because our KHL value is set at Rp 1.6 million,'€ KSBI Jambi regional coordinator Roida Pane said on Thursday.

Roida said the KSBI had proposed a minimum wage of Rp 1.6 million in a meeting held by the Jambi Renumeration Board to determine the province'€™s 2014 minimum wage. However, both the local administration and the business sector have rejected the workers'€™ demand.

Roida said the Jambi governor had been too arrogant and was in too great a hurry to decide the new minimum wage, which will be announced on Nov. 1.

'€œThe decision has caused distress among the workers. They are being used as a political object, although they had been united in supporting his [Hasan's] nomination for governor,'€ Roida said.

Separately, Hasan promised to review the workers'€™ demand. He asserted that the wage decision was made following several discussions with the Jambi Renumeration Board, which consists of representatives from workers' associations, the business sector and independent teams.

Hasan said the Jambi administration had checked the minimum wages in several provinces on Sumatra before drafting the decree. He added that, in fact, Jambi'€™s minimum wage was higher than those in Bangka-Belitung and Bengkulu.

'€œIn determining the minimum wage, we not only need to consider the interests of the workers but also businesspeople who employ the workers. We don'€™t want to see their businesses fail, resulting in workers being laid off because of an overly high minimum-wage increase.

Jambi's Social Affairs and Manpower Agency head, Harris AB, said the minimum wage of Rp 1,502,230 per month would come into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. (ebf)


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