Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal says that hundreds of thousands if not a million workers affiliated with the KSPI are ready to take part in the Action to Defend Islam by holding a national strike.
“First of all I want to say that the KSPI will officially hold a national strike across 31 provinces, 250 regencies, and cities. But there will be at least 20 provincial industrial cities were we will hold a national strike”, he told journalists from United Islam (Islam Bersatu, JITU) in Central Jakarta on the afternoon of Monday November 14.
In principal, the KSPI believes that the government is arrogant in its position of protecting the interests of the owners of capital said Said.
“The national strike will be held on November 25 or December 2. We will indeed join with the people’s movement that is raising the issue of blasphemy [allegedly committed by Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama]. Because in principle we will be questioning the arrogance of power that protects the interests of the owners of capital”, he said.
And it will not just be about blasphemy, moreover the KSPI believes that the government’s stand in setting low wages is an arrogant one that protects the owners of capital.
“The problem of low wages is the arrogance of power in protecting the owners of capital through Government Regulation (PP) Number 78/2015 [on setting the minimum wage], where wages are controlled and kept low and trade unions reject the policy behind the PP 78”, he said briefly following the press conference.
With regard to the number of workers that will be mobilised for the national strike, Said said that they are ready to mobilise hundreds of thousands of workers in Jakarta and the satellite cities of Tangerang and Bekasi (Jabotabek) to converge on the State Palace in Central Jakarta.
“The national strike will be a stop production with [workers] walking out of factories in 20 provincial industrial cities in Jabotabek and going to the Palace, and I think that the numbers going to the Palace could be hundreds of thousands, more than 500,000, because there are lot of workers in Jabotabek”, he said. [ahc]
Said Iqbal, who supported former Special Forces (Kopasus) commander retired General Prabowo Subianto’s failed 2014 presidential bid and according to recent media reports holds regular discussions with Prabowo confidant and House of Representatives (DPR) Deputy Speaker and Fadli Zon from Prabowo’s Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), has on several occasions been criticised by labour activists for organising anti-government labour protests not to fight for workers rights but to support the Prabowo camp.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Mantap! Jutaan Buruh Siap Mogok Nasional Bergabung dengan Aksi Bela Islam Jilid III.]