Karawang – Around 3,000 workers from the Karawang district branch of the Fraternity of Indonesian Muslim Workers (PPMI) organised a convoy in the West Java industrial zone on Wednesday November 11. This was a warm-up action in the lead up to a ‘stop production’ action rejecting Government Regulation Number 78/2015 (PP 78/2015) on Wages.
“A convoy was chosen because this is still a warm-up and when it’s time we will be ready to stop production. The aim is to continue articulating and campaigning for the PPMI’s opposition to the PP 78/2015”, said one of the PPMI Karawan members when contacted by Solidaritas.net.
The PPMI together with the United People’s Committee (KPR) have been holding convoy actions since Tuesday November 10 in the Karawang International Industry City (KIIC) area and Surya Cipta. Julian said that in addition to the convoy, they have also protested at problematic companies such as KD Heat Technology Indonesia and PT Shinto Kogyo Indonesia.
According to Julian, workers must continue campaigning in opposition to the wage regulation because it will impoverish workers. “[We] must continue to campaign against Government Regulation Number 78/2015 because by issuing this regulation the Jokowi [President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo] regime is in structural terms impoverishing workers”, he asserted.
This impoverishment occurs through the calculation of wages based on the rate of inflation and economic growth which only comes to 11 percent as regulated under the new wage law. The government itself meanwhile is incapable of controlling or stabilising the price of basic commodities on the market.
“So from this the PPMI explicitly demands that the government revoke this regulation on wages and the PPMI along with other labour organisations are ready to stop production”, he asserted.
In Bekasi regency, West Java, hundreds of protesters from the KPR also held a march to the Bekasi regional government offices on Tuesday November 10. They were demanding that the Bekasi regional government side with worker by joining them in opposing the new wage regulation.
The Bekasi government however ignored the workers’ demands. Bekasi regent Neneng Hasanah Yasin was not at the office and instead instructed public order agency (Satpol PP) officials to meet with worker representatives.
“Don’t vote for Neneng again in the next pilkada [election of regional heads}. Neneng is not the workers’ regent”, shouted one of the speakers.
In Bekasi city meanwhile, the PPMI joined with the KPR and other trade unions in an action rejecting the wage regulation.
In South Sulawesi the KPR also held an action opposing the wage regulation which they said would impact on low wages in the region. The protesters are demanding a provincial minimum wage (UMP) of 2.9 million rupiah a month which the governor has set at only 2.25 million based on the new regulation. This they said is evidence of the low wage policies born out of the wage regulation.
The KPR is made up of a number of labour organisations including the Nusantara Trade Union Alliance-National Labour Movement Centre (GSBN-SGBN), the Makassar Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Makassar), the Makassar Parking Workers Trade Union (SJPM), the Independent Women’s and Children’s Committee for Social Action (KIPAS), the People’s Liberation Party (PPR), the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN), the Populist Student Front Preparatory Committee (KP-FMK), the Democratic Student Front-National Labour Movement Centre (FMD-SGMK), the Indonesian Independent Union (SMI), the Populist Student Front (FMK), the Indonesian Women’s Secretariat (Srikandi), the Student Movement Front (FGM), the Democratic Revolution Movement (GRD), the Marginal Communities Student Movement (GMPA), Komunal, the Indonesia Muslim University Strategic Issues Study Forum (FOSIS UMI), the Indonesia Muslim University Indonesian Islamic Students Movement Faculty of Law (PMII Hukum UMI), the Indonesia Muslim University Islamic Religion Faculty Student Association Study Group (HMT FAI UMI) and the Working People’s Association-Organisational Saviours Committee (KPO-PRP).
In Ternate, North Maluku, the KPR held an action at the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) Commission I offices also demanding that the new wage regulation be repealed. Using a megaphone, the protesters conveyed their demands and their support for the labour struggle.
In Palu, Central Sulawesi, the KPR and the trade union alliance the Indonesian People’s United Resistance (PPRI) held a free speech forum in front of the Central Sulawesi DPRD where they put up banners reading, “Repeal the PP Number 78/2015 on Wages and Fight Militarism”.
The PPRI also demanded that the government repeal other anti-democratic laws such as the mass organisation law, the intelligence law, the law on social conflict management, the national security law, the draft presidential regulation of the organisational structure of the TNI (Indonesian military) and the draft revisions to the law on the TNI.
They also called for the dismantling of the TNI territorial commands and for the military to return to the barracks, the arrest and trial of human rights violators, an end to contract labour systems and outsourcing, free education and healthcare and for the government to issue a law on the protection of migrant workers.
In the Central Java city of Yogyakarta, the Yogyakarta Workers Committee (KBY) held an action in which they handed out leaflets in front of a factory owned by the Corporation Berhad Iglas (PT IGB). The KBY called on workers to reject the new wage regulation and for solidarity with the 400 workers who were sacked on the grounds of efficiency.
In the West Java city of Cirebon, the Singarperbangsa Trade Union Federation (FSPS) also held an action opposition the new wage law and to support the fight against union busting which is widespread among Cirebon companies.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Tuntut Pembatalan PP Pengupahan, KPR Aksi di Berbagai Kota. Subheadings were also added for readability.]