Workers protest new wage regulation with 180km march to Jakarta

Berita Satu – November 17, 2015
Workers protest against new labour regulation - October 15, 2015 (Ade To Er Ce)
Workers protest against new labour regulation - October 15, 2015 (Ade To Er Ce)

Adi Marsiela/PCN, Bandung – At least 200 workers from the West Java Labour Alliance (Al-Jabar) began marching from the West Java provincial capital of Bandung to Jakarta on Monday November 16.

The workers, who are marching some 180 kilometers by foot and were accompanied by scores of people on motorcycles, four wheeled vehicles and an ambulance, are scheduled to arrive at the Proclamation Monument in Central Jakarta on Friday November 20.

Indonesian Labour Union Confederation (KPBI) leadership representative Ilham Syah said that the action demonstrated workers’ seriousness in opposing Government Regulation Number (PP) Number 78/2015 on wages, [which stipulates that annual minimum wage increases are calculated based on the inflation rate and economic growth – JB].

During the march, the protesters will be distributing a petition by workers and the people of Indonesia against the new wage regulation.

“This PP [effectively] annuls increases to workers’ wages and abolishes the role of trade unions in each [annual wage] increase”, said Ilham in a speech before the protesters.

The Al-Jabar is aiming to gather a minimum of 1 million signatures on the petition. If this is achieved, the alliance will consider cancelling a planned national strike that is to be held on November 24-27.

“Don’t forget that when [you’re] marching meet with people and socialise why we are calling on the government to repeal the PP 78/2015” said Ilham.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Buruh Jalan Kaki ke Jakarta Desak Penghapusan PP Pengupahan.]