Jakarta – Around 500 protesters from the Workers Challenge Alliance (ABM) held a demonstration at the Hotel Indonesia (HI) roundabout it Central Jakarta on September 10 demanding a suitable minimum wage. A present they are awaiting the arrival of other workers following which they plan to march to the State Palace.
ABM is a coalition of several labour organisations including the Indonesian Trade Union Action Committee (KASBI), the Indonesian Civic Trade Union (SPIM), the Tangerang Trade Union Communication Forum (FKSBT) and the Greater Jakarta Trade Union (SBJ).
Arriving at the HI roundabout at 11am, the majority wore red T-shirts and brought a variety of banners with messages such as “Cheap Wages No, A Suitable National Wage Yes”, “Imperialism is the Enemy of the People”, and “Cancel the Foreign Debt”. They also sung the Internationale.
They also brought one huge banner with a number of demands including rejecting revisions to the labour law, demanding the ratification of a pro-people labour law, canceling the foreign debt, calling for the nationalisation of mining industries and other vital inhalations, a program of national industrialisation and a job creation program for the people.
According to ABM’s coordinator for inter-organisational relations, Ilhamsyah, they are demanding that a suitable national wage be set immediately in order that there is a standardisation of the minimum wage by the central government that would be valid for each province.
“This is a pressing demand. If the government had a standard, the provinces could set [their own minimum wage] but it would not be allowed to be less that the national standard. The ideal minimum wage for a worker is 1.5 million rupiah [per month]. But this of course should still wait for the results of a survey”, he said. (san)
[Translated by James Balowski.]