The Jakarta Post
Thousands of workers across North Sumatra have planned a massive rally for next week, rejecting the 2015 provincial minimum wage (UMP), which was set at Rp 1,625,000 (US$130) per month.
'We will occupy the governor's office until a decision is made to revise the UMP. We are demanding a 30 percent hike, not 8 percent,' chairman of the North Sumatra branch of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI), Minggu Saragih, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
Saragih said the KSPI considered the 8 percent raise in the UMP insufficient for coping with growing increasing daily needs.
He said the rally would involve all workers organizations from across the province.
He said that of all the provinces in Indonesia, North Sumatra passed the lowest UMP increase, reflecting poorly on North Sumatra Governor Gatot Pujo Nugroho.
Saragih said that the ideal UMP would be Rp 2 million per month, or a 30 percent raise from the 2014 UMP of Rp 1,505,850.
He argued the demands had been made in accordance with the results of the survey on the basic cost of living (KHL) in North Sumatra, which showed that the current KHL was Rp 2 million.
'The survey refers to the lowest living-cost standard in North Sumatra,' said Saragih, adding that the survey was conducted in five markets in the Serdang Bedagai regency.
The provincial wage council (Depeda) has recommended that the Serdang Bedagai KHL be set at Rp 1,271,058 per month.
The recommended KHL for this newly established regency was the lowest among the province's 33 regencies and cities and had been used as a reference for the North Sumatra administration to decide on the provincial UMP.
Governor Gatot said that the 2015 UMP of Rp 1,625,000 per month was in accordance with the provincial Depeda's recommendation and that it would become a reference for other regencies and cities in the province to decide on the regency and city minimum wage (UMK). 'The UMK has to be higher than the UMP,' Gatot said.
Responding to the workers' demand for a higher UMP, Gatot said that the figure had not yet taken into account the central government's plan to increase fuel prices. He said there was still a room for revision.
'The provincial administration will struggle for a revision of the UMP figure once the central government has officially announced a hike in the price of subsidized fuel,' Gatot told reporters at his office over the weekend.
Separately, secretary of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) North Sumatra branch, Laksamana Adiyaksa, said that employers had expressed readiness to implement the governor's decision on the UMP.
He said the decision was ideal because it was based off the recommendations from the Depeda, whose elements also included worker's representatives.
'As long as it is in line with the regulations, we are committed to implementing the decision on the UMP,' Laksamana said on Sunday.