Ja'far Abdul Azis, Kilas Klaten, Yogyakarta – Hundreds of workers in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta took to the streets on Monday May 1 to hold a long-march from the Pal Putih Monument to the zero kilometre point in the centre of the city.
The protesters from the Indonesian Trade Union Council (MPBI) held up posters with messages calling for workers' wages to be raised so that workers can obtain equitable rights.
Action coordinator Yusril (24) explained to journalists that in the framework of commemorating International Labour Day, the MPBI is taking up the demand that the Job Creation Law and Labour Ministry Regulation (Permenaker) Number 5/2022 be abolished and for workers' wages to be increased by 50 percent.
"This afternoon the MPBI held a working class cultural parade, where this is a form of action to commemorate International Labour Day, we held a long-march starting from the Yogyakarta Monument then we had a motor convey to the Abu Bakar Ali parking area then we long-marched to the Yogyakarta zero kilometre point", he said.
The group will continue to hold peaceful actions and will never stop articulating its opposition to all government policies that fail to side with the ordinary people.
"Especially opposing Job Creation Law Number 6/2023, also Permenaker Number 5/2023, we will continue to oppose the setting of low wages that exits in the DIY [Yogyakarta Special Region]", said Yusril in the middle of the demonstration.
The action, which began at 10 am and ended at 1 pm, proceeded smoothly. Police officers could be seen directing traffic and escorting the peaceful action by the workers.
A similar action meanwhile was held by the People's Alliance for Democracy (ARUD) at the Yogyakarta governor's office. The demonstrators brought 13 demands, the most crucial of which was related to workers' wages and the government regulation in lieu of law replacing the Jobs Law that was recently enacted into law.
The number of participants at the demonstration at the governor's office was less than those at the zero kilometre point, although they were in very high spirits.
"We see that at this time, of course our action has had no response from within (the governor's office), but we will continue to echo calls on the government so that our demands are immediately implemented", said action coordinator Geri.
Like the demands made by the MPBI, the ARUD said it would continue to initiate protest actions until their demands are achieved.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Massa Buruh Penuhi kawasan Malioboro, Longmarch dari Tugu Sampai Titik Nol Yogyakarta".]