Trade unions in Semarang reject minimum wage, outsourcing

Detik News – May 1, 2012
Workers commemorate May Day with rally in Semarang (irzaladiakurnia)
Workers commemorate May Day with rally in Semarang (irzaladiakurnia)

Angling Adhitya Purbaya, Semarang – Commemorating May Day, thousands of workers from the Workers Challenge Movement (Gerbang) held a protest action at the Central Java governors’ office on Jl. Pahlawan in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang.

The protesters came from a number of different organisations including the National Trade Union (SPN), the Kahutindo Trade Union (SPK), the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FSPI), the People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and the Indonesian Workers Federation (FPI).

During the action, the protesters gave speeches and demanded their rights in front of the governor’s office. Earlier, they also blockaded a road in the vicinity of the Mangkang weigh bridge.

They demanded reasonable wages, an end to contract labour and outsourcing, law enforcement and for May 1 to be declared a national holiday. “We feel that the determination of the UMK (municipal minimum wage) by the Central Java governor does not side with workers”, said Semarang city Gerbang coordinator Heru Budi Utoyo.

The protesters said that the 991,500 rupiah a month wage set by governor in November 2011 is only sufficient for unmarried workers without families. “If workers are deemed to be troublesome then quick action is taken, but if a company is in the wrong action takes a long time or is even permitted”, said Utoyo.

The demonstration brought traffic between Siranda and Simpang Lima to a standstill and vehicles had to be redirected. Police kept a close watch over the action with five water cannons prepared to anticipate anything undesirable occurring. (alg/try)

[Ribuan Buruh Geruduk Kantor Gubernur Jateng – detikNews. Selasa, 01/05/2012. Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]