Workers in Bandung commemorate May Day with plan to establish labour party

Source – May 1, 2015
GOBSi workers commemorate May Day with rally at governor's office - May 1, 2015 (nida khairiyah)
GOBSi workers commemorate May Day with rally at governor's office - May 1, 2015 (nida khairiyah)

Dwi Renjani, Bandung – Hundreds of workers held a rally in front of the governor’s office at the Gedung Sate building in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on International Labour Day where they made a number of demands.

All Indonesia Labour Organisation Federation (GOBSI) chairperson Asep Salim said that they were demanding wage increases and urging the government to revise Law Number 13/2003 on Labour.

“We are asking that workers’ wages be increased. Worker’s wages at the moment are insufficient for our daily needs, we need a minimum of 4-5 million rupiah per month. Two million cannot bring prosperity to workers”, said Salim on Friday May 1.

Throughout the demonstration hundreds of police were on alert in front of the Gedung Sate building where they had erected a barricade. The rally proceeded peacefully and did not create traffic congestion.

“We want to convey our wishes politely without having to cause a riot. What’s important is that our wishes are heard”, said Ferdi, one of the protesters.

The workers gave a number of speeches while unfurling the GOBSI flag and the red-and-white Indonesian national flag accompanied by the singing of the national anthem, Indonesia Raya.

According to Salim, they also plan to establish a labour party whose membership will include workers throughout Indonesia.

“Don’t blame us, if we are not heeded then we will establish a labour party. Over the years there has been no meaningful change [for workers] so we will take steps to address this”, said Salim.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was May Day, Buruh di Bandung Tuntut Gaji Rp 4-5 Juta.]