Workers demonstrate at national parliament on May Day

Tempo Interactive – May 1, 2004
Labour activists climb DPR gates during May Day rally in Jakarta (Tribune)
Labour activists climb DPR gates during May Day rally in Jakarta (Tribune)

Jakarta – Around 1,000 workers from scores of different organisations demonstrated in front of the national parliament in Jakarta on Saturday May 1. During the action, the workers shouted and listened to a series of speeches by a number of labour activists.

The workers demanded that the government abolish the system of contract labour, increase wages, end mass dismissals and give workers the right to join trade unions. In addition to this, the workers also demanded that Law Number 13/2003 on Labour Affairs and the 2004 law on the resolution of industrial disputes be revoked.

According to labour activists Nining Elitos from the Association of Independent Trade Unions (Gabungan Serikat Buruh Independen, SBSI), the action was held at the national parliament in order to pressure legislators to listen to worker’s demands. “The [anti-worker] regulations were made by the government and the DPR [People’s Representative Assembly] weren’t they, so we hope that the people’s representatives will immediately implement our demands”, he said.

The action which began at mid-day, blocked traffic on Jalan Gatot Subroto from Semanggi to Slipi and extended as far as the Jalan Gerbang Pemuda. In addition to the demonstration itself, the traffic jam was also caused by the scores of busses and trucks which had brought workers to the demonstration which were parked in front of the parliamentary building. In order to ensure security at the demonstration, the Jakarta metropolitan police deployed two companies of security personnel.

[Translated by James Balowski.]