Metal workers in Medan say government only remembers workers on May Day

Source – May 1, 2019
FSPMI workers rally at governor’s office – May 1, 2019 (iNews)
FSPMI workers rally at governor’s office – May 1, 2019 (iNews)

Stepanus Purba, Medan – Hundreds of workers held a protest action in front of the North Sumatra (Sumut) governor’s office in Medan on Wednesday May 1. The workers, who are part of the Indonesian Metal Workers Trade Union Federation (FSPMI), said that the government only remembers about workers on May Day, but then fails to resolve the problems that exist.

“The government only remembers workers during the commemoration of Labor Day. Then after Labour Day, issues such as low wages, outsourcing and various kinds of [bad] policies on workers are still a problem to which there is no solution”, said FSPMI Chairperson Willy Agus Utomo.

Utomo also believes that the Labour Day activities organised by the government such as music concerts and door prizes were a waste of time. None of this has a positive impact on the lives of workers.

“We explicitly reject events organised by the government because they only waste regional budgets”, he said.

During the May Day commemorations this year, the FSPMI is demanding that the government revoke Government Regulation Number 78/2015 on Wages, which they say doesn’t side with workers.

They are also calling on the government to abolish outsourcing, reduce electricity rates and provide affordable basic commodities.

“Our big national demand agenda in broad terms is prosperity for workers and genuine and peaceful democracy. At the local level we are highlighting cases of law enforcement in Sumut and weak supervision and law enforcement [against companies]”, he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Demo di Medan, FSPMI: Pemerintah Hanya Ingat Buruh saat Hari Buruh”.]