May Day rally in Yogyakarta demands full payment of holiday bonuses, decent wages

iNews – May 1, 2021
Workers commemorate May Day at zero kilometre point in Yogyakarta – May 1, 2021 (Sindo)

Priyo Setyawan, Yogyakarta – Hundreds of workers from the People's Alliance for Unity (Arus) held a peaceful action commemorating May Day at the zero kilometre point intersection in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Saturday May 1. The protest was filled with speeches demanding prosperity for workers and the full payment of holiday bonuses.

The demonstrators arrived at 12.30 pm from the direction of the nearby North Square and marched on foot to the zero kilometre point. Upon arriving they formed a circle which resulted in obstructing the flow of traffic from all four directions, although this did not create a traffic jam.

Scores of police officers were on guard and securing the streets near the action.

In addition to speeches, the workers also brought posters and banners with messages such as "Strengthen the people's movement, smash capitalism, create genuine democracy" and "Revoke the Omnibus Law, protect workers, for a decent wage".

Arus public relations officer Restu Bagaskara said that coinciding with May Day this year there are several issues which were conveyed by workers in Yogyakarta, including the issue of workers' welfare because wages in Yogyakarta province are very law and even perhaps the lowest in Indonesia.

In addition to this, during the Covid-19 pandemic many workers have become unemployed after being sacked and they are asking the Yogyakarta regional government to pay attention to workers’ welfare.

"We are also demanding that the Omnibus Law on Job Creation be revoked because the law muzzles the rights of workers", said Bagaskara during a break in the action.

Arus also took the opportunity to demand that holiday bonuses (THR) be paid in full and not in installments. "Arus has four urgent demands, first revoke the Omnibus Law, pay 100 percent of THR, pay a decent wage and revoke Yogyakarta bylaw Number 1/2021 on the prohibition of protests at strategic locations", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Ratusan Buruh Yogya Gelar Aksi, Tuntut Pembayaran THR 100%".]