Singgih Wiryono, Jakarta – Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal is urging the House of Representatives (DPR) to form a special committee (Pansus) to oppose the recent increase in the price of fuel (BBM).
This was conveyed by Iqbal following a demonstration against the fuel price hike in front of the DPR building in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday September 6.
"Form a Panja [working committee] or a DPR Pansus, use your right to an interpellation motion, right of inquiry, that's the DPR's right, don't just follow the etiquette with rhetoric in the media", said Iqbal, who is also President of the Labour Party.
Iqbal then threatened that if the DPR does not heed their proposal, then thousands of workers would be ready to hold protest actions throughout the remainder of 2022.
Workers, said Iqbal, will hold actions in different parts of the country every Thursday and will hold a national strike if the proposal for a special committee is not implemented. "We'll wait until December 2022, our protest actions will continue", said Iqbal.
"Every Thursday, there will be waves of protest until December. The climax, in early December or late November, will be a national strike joined by 5 million workers, [we'll] stop production, everyone will stop production", he reiterated.
The action at the DPR, which Iqbal claimed was joined by 2,000 workers, then disbanded voluntarily at 2.30 pm without there being any response from DPR members.
Iqbal said that the DPR members' position of not receiving them is the attitude of a coward. "As of this afternoon they didn't come out, apparently there are afraid to form a Panja or Pansus", said Iqbal.
Earlier, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo officially raised the price of or cut fuel subsidies. Widodo said that the fuel price hike was the government's last option in a difficult situation as a consequence of the upheaval in global oil prices.
"Now the government must make a decision in a difficult situation. This was the government's last option, namely diverting BBM subsidies", said Widodo during a press conference on Saturday September 3.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Mineral Arifin Tasrif announced that the price of three types of fuel, namely Pertalite, Solar and Pertamax would increase as of 2.30 pm on Saturday.
Subsidised Pertalite will increase from 7,650 rupiah per litre to 10,000 rupiah per litre, subsidised Solar (Diesel) will increase from 5,150 rupiah per litre to 6,800, and Pertamax will increase from 12,500 rupiah to 14,500 rupiah per litre.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KSPI Desak DPR Bentuk Panitia Khusus Tolak Kenaikan Harga BBM".]