Hundreds of workers and students take to Jakarta's streets on May Day

Suara Surabaya – May 1, 2021
Worker carries placard during May Day rally in Jakarta – May 1, 2021 (Liputan 6)

Farid Kusuma – Hundreds of students and workers from various different organisations in Jakarta took to the streets to commemorate International Labour Day or May Day today, Saturday May 1.

They included, among others, the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI), the All Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI), the Labour Movement with the People (Gebrak) and the National Association of University Student Executive Bodies (BEM SI).

The action centred around the National Monument (Monas) at the Arjuna Wijaya Horse Statue on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Central Jakarta.

The action, which began at 11 am, maintained health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The number of participants was restricted and they also maintained social distancing and wore masks.

The workers and students made several demands including calling on the government to revoke Law Number 11/2020 on Job Creation and demanding that the government reapply the sectoral minimum wage (UMSK) for 2021.

In addition to this, workers also demanded that companies pay full holiday bonuses (THR) in the lead up to the Idul Fitri holidays at the end of the Ramadan fasting month.

By 12.30 pm the demonstration was being closely monitored by police, the TNI (Indonesian military) and Public Order Agency officials in order to maintain security and order.

The workers had planned to hold an action in front of the nearby Constitutional Court building and the Presidential Palace but police had already restricted access to these points by parking tactical vehicles and placing troops on alert. (rid/iss)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Peringati May Day 2021, Buruh dan Mahasiswa Gelar Aksi di Sekitaran Monas".]