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Jakarta Post

Administration'€™s legal division to appeal in labor wage dispute

  • Rangga D. Fadillah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, November 9, 2013   /  11:41 am

The Jakarta city administration will be appealing to the Supreme Court to annul the verdict of the State Administrative Court, which annulled gubernatorial decrees to allow eight labor intensive companies in the Cakung industrial estate to postpone the 2013 minimum wage hike.

'€œWe'€™ll appeal as soon as possible,'€ said Bayu Mahendra, an official from the administration'€™s legal division, as quoted by kompas.com.

The eight companies employing hundreds of workers are PT Kaho Indah Citra Garmen (garment), PT Misung Indonesia (garment), PT Myungsung Indonesia (wig), PT Kyeungseng Trading Indonesia (garment), PT Star Camtex (garment), PT Good Guys Indonesia (garment), PT Yeon Heung Mega Sari (garment) and PT Hansoll Indonesia (garment).

Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo issued gubernatorial decrees for the companies to allow them to pay workers below the provincial minimum wage temporarily. With the court ruling the decrees had to be canceled, the companies had to pay at least Rp 2.2 million (US$192.67) per month as it was set as new minimum wage in the city in 2013.

While thousands of workers in the city had received salaries based on the minimum wage at the least since January, workers from the eight companies had been paid no more than Rp 1.9 million per month, which was the rate of the standard cost of living (KHL).

The workers, who joined the National Workers Union (SPN) and the Inter-Factory Labor Federation (FBLP), have attempted to sue the city administration since April.

The court eventually appeased the workers'€™ demand as the companies could not prove they were eligible to be exempted from paying their workers according to the minimum wage hike.

Head of industrial relations at the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) Jakarta chapter, Bambang Adam, said the association fully supported the city administration in filing an appeal against the decision of the court.

'€œThe decision will only harm both the companies and the workers themselves,'€ he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Bambang said the eight companies were small companies that had suffered losses in the past two years. If they had to immediately pay the margins they had not paid since January, their workers would lose their jobs because the companies could go bankrupt, he added.

However, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Jakarta chapter representing the workers in the court, Maruli Rajagukguk, said the city administration should not file an appeal but should support the decision.

'€œIt'€™s obvious the companies could not prove that they had suffered losses in the last two years. They should have no privilege to pay lower than the provincial minimum wage,'€ he said.

He added that the city administration should know around 17,000 people working for the eight companies had been so far underpaid.

'€œThe governor should perhaps think about the fate of those workers, instead of the fate of those rich businesspeople that run the companies,'€ he went on. (koi)

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