Himawan, Makassar – Hundreds of workers in Makassar, South Sulawesi, held a protest action to commemorate International Labour Day on Wednesday May 1.
The workers gathered and parked large trucks under the flyover blocking the road connecting Jl. AP Pettarani and Jl. Urip Sumoharjo in Makassar city.
This forced police to divert traffic. Makassar municipal police Chief Senior Commissioner Wahyu Dwi Ariwibowo said that 1,500 police officers had been deployed for the commemoration of May Day this year.
“Personnel have been deployed at several points around Makassar to anticipate traffic jams”, said Ariwibowo in an interview with journalists.
According to Kompas’ observations, although the rally was attended by hundreds of workers and students it did not have an impact on traffic, particularly on Jl. AP Pettarani Makassar and Jl. Urip Sumoharjo.
Police had been on alerts since morning controlling the flow of traffic in order to avoid traffic congestion.
The action was held by Makassar workers from the Labour Movement Alliance (AGB), which is made up four trade unions in Makassar.
“There are 16 demands related to workers on the issue of education and women which we are taking up in this labour commemoration”, said AGB public relations officer Haidir when interviewed at the location of the protest.
Haidir said that many workers in Makassar have been harmed by Government Regulation Number 78/2015 on Wages and there are still many workers in Makassar who do not receive decent wages for their work.
In addition to this, the workers also demanded menstrual and maternal leave for women workers and an end to sexual violence in the workplace.
“In this case we are pushing for the abolition of sexual violence in the workplace”, said Haidir.
As of posting this report, the action by the students and workers in Makassar was still continuing. In order to anticipate unwanted problems, police were also still on alert at the location.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Peringati May Day, Ratusan Buruh dan Mahasiswa di Makassar Tutup Jalan”.]