Journalist highlight low wages, violence at May Day rally in Jakarta

Source – May 1, 2019
May Day protest at Horse Statue in Central Jakarta – May 1, 2019 (Kompas)
May Day protest at Horse Statue in Central Jakarta – May 1, 2019 (Kompas)

Walda Marison, Jakarta – A number of journalist organisations from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) held a demonstration to commemorate International Labour Day in Jakarta on May 1.

The journalists were among the hundreds of workers preparing to hold an action in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta. At around 10.15 am, they could be seen crowding in front of the entrance to the National Monument (Monas) to prepare to march to Jl Medan Merdeka Utara.

The demonstration by the journalists was joined the Legal Aid Foundation for the Press (LBH Pers), AJI Jakarta, the Indonesian Student Press Association Activist Forum Alumni (FAA PPMI), the Independent Media Trade Union Federation (FSPM), the Jakarta Cross-Media Trade Union (SPLMJ), the Greater Jakarta Student Press Forum (FPMJ), the Student Press Institute (LPM) Economic Voice and the Student Activities Unit Nusantara Journalists Communications Media (MATA).

AJI Chairperson Abdul Mannan said the action represents a fight for the future of journalists who still live far from a prosperous life, particularly journalists from the regions.

“The wages of many in the regions are less than the UMR [regional minimum wage], particularly journalists whose status is as contributors. They’re paid per story and basically receive no insurance”, he said at the rally on Wednesday May 1.

The action was also a protest against the government because many journalists have fallen victim to violence.

“May journalists are assaulted. There were 64 cases of violence in 2018, and this can still be considered a lot. And never mind the non-physical violence, bullying on social media, particularly last year”, he said.

Mannan hopes that by holding the action the government will be willing to pay attention to the welfare and safety of media workers.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Peringati Hari Buruh, AJI Gelar Aksi Demo Perjuangkan Nasib Jurnalis”.]