Workers in Aceh say many companies fail to pay minimum wage

Waspada Online – May 1, 2016
Workers commemorate May Day in Banda Aceh - May 1, 2016 (Waspada)
Workers commemorate May Day in Banda Aceh - May 1, 2016 (Waspada)

Banda Aceh – Scores of workers from the Aceh Labour Alliance (ABA) in Indonesia’s northern most province of Aceh commemorated May Day by calling on the governor to set the provincial minimum wage (UMP) for 2017 at 2.8 million rupiah a month.

This was conveyed in speeches at the Simpang Lima traffic circle in Banda Aceh city on Sunday May 1. The workers said that the wages received by workers are still far too low and the number of components in the reasonable living cost index [used by the government to determine the minimum wage] is still very minimal. They also said that Government Regulation Number 78/2015 (PP 78/2015) on setting the minimum wage had further sidelined workers in terms of wages.

“The PP 78/2015 has further sidelined workers because wages cannot [just] be based on the reasonable living cost index (KHL) let alone economic growth”, said labour alliance representative Habibi.

Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI) action coordinator, Bayu, said that the problem is that workers are still fighting for normative rights, one of which is wages. As mandated under Labour Law Number 13/2003 workers are pushing for the Aceh UMP for 2017 to be set at 2.8 million rupiah a month.

“A wage of 2.8 million is already a reasonable UMP in Aceh, we are also calling on the government to revoke the PP No. 78/2015 and to ratify labour bylaw number 7/2014”, he said.

According to Bayu, there are still many workers who have yet to receive a reasonable wage as set by the government. So the government must act firmly against companies that are still paying less than the UMP. (wol/aa/waspada/data1)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Buruh Tuntut UMP Rp 2,8 Juta.]