Bandar Lampung – Commemorating International Labour Day or May Day, around 600 workers from various different trade unions took to the streets of Bandar Lampung in South Sumatra on Wednesday May 1.
The workers concentrated at three points in the city: the Adipura Monument, Saburai Enggal Park and the Korpri North Teluk Betung Park.
A number of different trade unions and groups joined the rally including the Lampung People’s Struggle Centre (PPRL), the National Trade Union Confederation-Primary Industries Trade Union Federation (FSBKU-KSN), the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance (KASBI), the Food and Beverage Trade Union Federation (FSBMM), the Kakar Long Shore Contract Workers Trade Union Cooperative (SPK3P2), the Indonesian People’s Union of Struggle (SPRI), the National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the United People’s Struggle (KPR), the Indonesian Students Union (SMI), the Natar Youth and Sebay Women’s Solidarity (SP-SEBAY).
Aside from workers, students from the Student Executive Councils (BEM) at the University of Lampung (Unila) and the Lampung State Polytechnic (Polinela) also joined in the rally under the theme “Resisting Modern Slavery, Strengthen the People’s Unity and Build a Political Alternative”.
“We are demanding three important points that workers want to convey. First, revoking Government Regulation Number 78/2015 on Wages [PP 78] which always benefits capitalists”, said SPK3P2 General Secretary Gunadi.
Second, he continued, the abolition of contract labour and outsourcing systems which have become a bugbear for workers. “This is because companies can sack employees as they please, without clarity over severance pay and so on”, explained Gunadi.
And third, giving workers the freedom or the right to form trade unions, which companies or capitalists obstruct by intimidating their workers. “These three points are very important to maintain workers’ necessities of life wherever they are”, asserted Gunadi.
Gunadi said that the second point is non-negotiable and will continue to be fought for because contract labour systems are inhuman.
“Under contract labour systems, they only benefit one side (the capitalists), because there is never any agreement upheld between employers and employees”, explained Gunadi.
According to Gunadi, the government must revoke the PP 78 because the regulation allows wage rises and workers wages to be determined unilaterally by employers.
“Before the PP No. 78/2015 existed, each time [annual] wages rates were set there was what is called the reasonable living cost index (KHL) which was then discussed by wage councils. But after the PP No 78, the wage councils were abolished, so that capitalists could set wage rates unilaterally”, explained Gunadi.
The labour rally was closely guarded by around 400 national police officers and the Bandar Lampung municipal police.
“As usual, we are doing this in the context of May Day, in accordance with existing conditions. Four hundred personnel were deployed to focus on three points today, namely the Saburai Field, the Korpri [Park] and the Adipura Monument”, said Bandar Lampung Municipal Police Public Relations Sub-Division Head Deputy Police Commissioner Titin Maezunah. (SB-13)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Peringatan Hari Buruh di Lampung, Massa Desak Hapus Sistem Outsourcing”.]