Bali activist commemorate IWD with demand for equal rights, decent wages

KBR – March 8, 2017
IWD rally in Yogyakarta - Mar 8, 2017 (KOP PRP Yogya)
IWD rally in Yogyakarta - Mar 8, 2017 (KOP PRP Yogya)

Yulius Martony, Bali – Papuan students, Ahmadiyah housewives and National Student Front (FMN) activists under the banner of the Bali Women’s Alliance (APB) commemorated International Women’s Day (IWD) with a rally in front of the Bali governor’s office on Wednesday March 8.

In a speech Retno Dewi from the Bali regional Indonesian Women’s Union (SPI) said that despite Bali being a tourist destination, many workers do not enjoy prosperity because they are employed as contract workers. Never mind the wage discrepancy between female and male workers.

“Government regulation Number 78/2015 (PP 78/2015) on determining minimum wage increases stipulates that wage increases are regulated nationally and must be applied by regional governments and governors. In 2016 the increase was 11.5 percent, and as comrades know, it was applied in Bali [where] we receive extremely low wages”, said Retno during the action in front of the governor’s office.

Retno said that the wage increase failed to cover the needs of workers, especially female workers. She gave as an example the different wages received by men and women workers, where male agricultural labourers were paid 80,000 rupiah a day [around US$8] while women workers are paid 70,000 a day.

In a statement the APB called on the government to revoke PP 78/2015, end the politics of low wages, put an end to modern-day slavery and stop contract labour systems and outsourcing. The action proceeded peacefully under the guard of scores of police.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was “Peringati Hari Perempuan Internasional, Aktivis Bali Demo Tuntut Persamaan Hak”.]