May Day rally in Bandung demands repeal of Omnibus Law, full holiday bonuses

CNN Indonesia – May 1, 2021
Workers maintain social distancing during May Day rally in Bandung – May 1, 2021 (CNN)

Bandung – Trade unions from across West Java commemorated Labour Day or May Day 2021 by holding an action in front of the Sate building in the provincial capital of Bandung in Saturday May 1.

The protest was joined by around 300 people who applied strict health protocols by wearing masks and standing one metre apart. The workers could also be seen carrying banners and flags.

Speaking through a megaphone, the action coordinator also appealed to colleagues to apply health protocols by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and using hands sanitizers.

West Java 1992 Indonesian Prosperous Labour Union (SBSI 1992) Chairperson Ajat Sudrajat said that this year's Labour Day commemorations were different than earlier ones because they are being held in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ramadan holy fasting month. So, he said, the number of people attending the action was also restricted.

"This year's May Day is being commemorated in the middle of all kinds of restrictions. So today we are affecting activities where there is no mass mobilisation. There are 300 people from 17 trade unions", said Sudrajat.

In accordance with government advice, said Sudrajat, they did not want to create crowds and will maintain social distancing. "Keep maintaining social distancing, meaning each person stay one metre apart. We will organise the protesters to maintain distance", he said.

The workers conveyed a number of demands. The first was that the Constitutional Court annul the Omnibus Law on Job Creation. The next demand was urging companies to pay 2021 holiday bonuses in full and in one installment. The workers also urged the government to apply the minimum regency and sectoral wage in 2021.

In addition to this, the workers called on the authorities to fully investigate the corruption of Jamsostek social security funds and urged the government to take action against mischievous companies who do not respect normative labour rights.

Semarang workers demand full holiday bonuses

In the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang meanwhile, a May Day action held at the Semarang Town Hall proceeded in an orderly fashion.

During the action themed "Workers Speak Out", the workers urged Semarang Mayor Hendrar Prihadi and the Central Java regional police to listen to and respond personally to their demands.

Prihadi took the opportunity to sign a "Holiday Bonus Disbursement" pledge as evidence that workers demands on the government urging companies to disburse holiday bonuses equivalent to one month's wages in full and not in installments had been heeded.

Central Java regional police special crimes director Senior Commissioner Johanson Simamora meanwhile consented to a demand by workers to establish a regional police labour desk. (hyg/sur)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Prokes Ala Buruh Jabar di Demo Peringatan May Day Bandung".]