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Jakarta Post

Labor unions, businesses throw weight behind Jokowi

The Jakarta Post
  ●   Tue, July 1, 2014

In a rare occasion of labor and management uniting behind a single cause, labor unions and businesspeople have jointly declared support for the presidential bid of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle'€™s (PDI-P) Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo.

One of the unions, the Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union (SBSI), said that Jokowi deserved support from laborers because of his good character.

'€œJokowi encourages people to be more civilized, not only people who are close to him but regular folks like parking attendants or becak [pedicab] drivers,'€ Andi said.

Members of the SBSI gathered at the Proclamation of Independence Monument in Jakarta on Sunday night to declare their support.

Also joining the declaration were leaders and members of the Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI).

Speaking after the unions'€™ declaration, Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Sofjan Wanandi said that the public'€™s support for Jokowi could be considered the people'€™s power, which could translate into change.

'€œI'€™ve felt that we have been searching for this kind of leader,'€ Sofjan said in his speech.

'€œJokowi would drive change.'€

Sofjan said that Jokowi and his running mate Jusuf Kalla had shown a commitment to improving social security for both employment and health.

'€œThey have also committed to building cheaper housing for workers. I believe that workers could spend 40 percent of their expenses for other needs and arrange their healthcare plan,'€ he said.

Also present at the event was Democratic Party lawmaker Ruhut Sitompul.

Ruhut said that he had already won the blessing of Democratic Party chairman President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to give his support for Jokowi.

'€œThe Democratic Party'€™s stance is neutral. It'€™s funny, because my colleagues lean toward the [Prabowo] camp, but my heart is only for Jokowi,'€ Ruhut said in his speech during the event.

He also said that former adviser to the Golkar Party Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, who has been campaigning for Jokowi, had encouraged him to back the non-active Jakarta

Ruhut also claimed that Jokowi had accepted his support, ignoring that he had often been harshly criticized by the Democratic Party politician.

Ruhut expressed his conviction that Jokowi would win the election.

'€œPublic support for Jokowi is snowballing,'€ he said, adding that he had just returned from campaigning for Jokowi in eight provinces across the country. (put)