Labour union launches national campaign for 50 percent wage increase

Source – October 26, 2009
Workers demand increase in minimum wage (Tirto)
Workers demand increase in minimum wage (Tirto)

Baban Gandapurnama, Bandung – Workers from the Preparatory Committee for the Indonesian Labour Movement Union (KP-PPBI) are demanding a minimum wage increase across all regions in 2010 of as much as 50 percent.

According to KP-PPBI provisional coordinator Sulaeman, their demands are based on an assessment of workers’ wages that are still not enough to survive on. “This 50 percent increase for workers will also stimulate an increase in purchasing power, and thereby stimulate Indonesia’s stagnating economy,” said Sulaeman during a KP-PPBI press conference at the Hotel Bandung Permai on Monday October 26.

Sulaeman also said that this demand should be viewed from the aspect of living conditions in Indonesia that are in a state of crisis, which can be seen from the huge jump in the price of goods and services.

In addition to his, according to Sulaeman, the working class is concerned that the regime of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono plan to increase fuel prices, electricity rates, the price of LPG and other prices in 2010. “This cannot just be ignored, the working class in Indonesia can no longer adopt and attitude of defeat. Even though Indonesia is still experiencing an economic crisis,” said Sulaeman.

The KP-PPBI will be campaigning for this demand throughout the country, particularly among labour organisation and workers’ networks to encourage them to support a wage increase in 2010. “Fifty percent is in fact not enough, but this is an effort to improve the welfare of the working class, so we ask workers to keep supporting [the demand]”, said Sulaeman.

The KP-PPBI is also urging labour delegations on wage councils to fight for the 50 percent wage increase. In addition to this they are appealing to regional labour organisations to hold actions either at government offices or Regional House of Representatives and to produce leaflets or pamphlets on working class resistance, as well as establishing cheap wage opposition committees on a national scale. “Hold mass marches or mass meetings in industrial areas, in open areas, or meeting halls to jointly call for a 2010 wage increase,” said Sulaeman.

The KP-PPBI is comprised of a number of labour organisations, including among others the Solidarity Alliance for Labour Struggle (GSPB), the Cross-Factory Labour Forum (FBLP), the Solidarity Forum for Labour Struggle (FSPB) and the Association of Concerned Labour Youth (PPMP). (avi/ern)

[Translated by James Balowski.]