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Jakarta Post

Workers urge govt to hike wages, improve employment conditions

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung, West Java   /   Mon, April 30, 2018   /   07:30 pm
Workers urge govt to hike wages, improve employment conditions We want more: Members of labor unions stage a rally in front of the Gedung Sate heritage building in Bandung, West Java, on April 23 to call for increased wages and better working conditions. (Antara/Novrian Arbi)

Workers, activists and students are set to commemorate International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, on Tuesday by staging a rally to call for higher minimum wages and better working conditions.

The protesters will urge the government to revoke Government Regulation No.78/2015 on wages.  

Bandung Militant Labor Unions Federation (Sebumi) head Aan Aminah said the government had discussed the regulation, which regulated wages, without involving workers. Labor unions should be involved in discussions to determine wage increases, he demanded.

“The state must guarantee decent wages for all workers without any exception. Hence, we also reject worker recruitment based on contracts, outsourcing and internships,” said Aminah on Sunday.

Labor unions claim the government regulation contradicts Law No.13/2003 on manpower.

Aminah said determining wage increases based on inflation and economic growth violated the right of workers to be involved in processes to determine minimum wages. This method also contradicted Law No. 21/2000 on labor unions and ILO Convention No.87 on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize.

When calculating wage increases based on inflation and economic growth, workers would be unable to achieve decent living standards, said Aminah. “The government’s instrument to calculate decent living standards that will be assessed once every five years will not change much for workers.”

National Union Confederation secretary-general Hermawan Susanto said May Day was a day of resistance. “We are calling on all workers to take the streets and voice our resistance against repression.” (ebf)