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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Workers anxious over job security despite govt policies, survey finds

  • Rizki Fachriansyah
    Rizki Fachriansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 15, 2020   /   04:39 pm
COVID-19: Workers anxious over job security despite govt policies, survey finds Workers produce face masks at PT Jayamas Medica in Jombang, East Java, on March 18. (Antara/Syaiful Arif)

Many Indonesian workers remain anxious over the uncertain future of their employment amid the COVID-19 outbreak despite the government's social safety net policies, a recent online survey found.

The survey -- conducted by community radio station Marsinah FM in collaboration with the Labor Study Group (Kobar) between Mar. 23 to Apr. 10 -- polled 146 respondents in Greater Jakarta and Central Java who work for 83 companies in the manufacturing, production, retail, and finance sectors.

Around 78.3 percent of the respondents said they felt vulnerable as neither their employers nor the government had come up with a policy that ensures the security of their livelihoods amid the ongoing public health emergency, the survey found.

“Even as the government makes daily promises of social safety nets for workers and other vulnerable demographics, the high percentage of workers who feel anxious over job security is a reflection of workers’ skepticism toward the government’s ability to protect them,” a report on the survey stated.

Read also: Millions to lose jobs, fall into poverty as Indonesia braces for recession

The survey also found that 67.8 percent of respondents were still obligated to go to work despite physical distancing measures and social restrictions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Of those who still have to be physically present at their workplace, 25.3 percent said they lacked access to protective equipment, hand-washing facilities, and disinfectants.

Furthermore, the survey found that 28.08 percent of respondents had been furloughed without pay during health crisis, putting migrant workers in a difficult situation.

“Workers who migrated to the city need to pay for living accommodations. Returning to their home villages is decidedly unwise as they could potentially be COVID-19 carriers,” the report said.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati previously said that, with economic growth projected at the lowest level since the 1998 financial crisis, 1.1 million to 3.78 million people could fall into poverty and 2.9 million to 5.2 million workers could lose their jobs.

According to the official government count, there are 4,839 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with 459 deaths as of Tuesday.