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Jakarta Post

National scene: Unions to announce labor party on May Day

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 30, 2015   /  07:21 am

A group of labor unions is planning to declare a new political party after a May Day rally on Friday.

'€œThe party will consist of alliances, groups, unions and other forms of citizen movements,'€ said Ilham Syah, the chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the All-Indonesia United Workers Confederation (KP-KPBI), on Thursday.

He also claimed that the rally, which commemorates the international Labor Day, would this year be the biggest protest in years with a total of 178,000 people joining.

The protest will demand the repeal of a regulation stipulating a salary raise only once in five years and another on outsourcing.

It will also demand revision of the 2004 law on industrial relations dispute settlements, urging the state to protect victims of mass lay-offs.

Not all unions agree with the plan to form a political party.

Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union (SBSI) chairwoman Sunarti said she still has doubts about the sources of the party'€™s funding.

'€œIf the labor party gets bigger, where will the funding come from? I don'€™t want to discourage the initiative, but I remind my fellows [labor activists] not to fall into the same trap [like other political parties],'€ she said.

'€œWe should prepare well. We are criticizing political parties and the President while we let ourselves become one of them,'€ she said.

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