Workers and students set fire to tyres at May Day commemoration in Makassar

CNN Indonesia – May 1, 2021
Protesters set fire to tyres during May Day rally in Makassar – May 1, 2021 (CNN)

Makassar – Commemorating International Labour Day or May Day in the South Sulawesi provincial capital of Makassar on Saturday May 1, labour and student organisations held a protest action in which they set fire to tyres and demanding the annulment of the Job Creation Law and the payment of holiday bonuses.

Protest actions were held at several points such as the Jalan AP Pettarani-Jalan Urip Sumohardjo intersection and on the border between Makassar city and Gowa regency, so police had to redirect traffic by closing off areas near demonstrations.

Using a megaphone and an open pickup truck the workers and students took turns in giving speeches. A worker from the People's Struggle Alliance (ALPAR) demanded that the government revoke Law Number 11/2020 on Job Creation.

"Revoke the Job Creation Law and its derivative articles 34, 45, 36 and 37. Enact the traditional community law. Arrest and try those who exploit Article 32 Paragraph 3 of the 1945 Constitution and stop rice imports", asserted Taufiq.

The Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) meanwhile demanded an end to the arbitrary sacking of workers and employees on the grounds of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Stop the arbitrary sacking of employees and workers during the pandemic. Pay full holiday bonuses to employees and workers in accordance with the Labour Ministry's circular", said Abdul Muis.

The Makassar metropolitan district police (Polrestabes) meanwhile deployed thousands of personnel at several locations where International Labour Day commemorations were to be held.

"Just from the Makassar Polrestabes we have deployed around 1,500 personnel who we have put on alert. Not to mention reinforcements from the South Sulawesi regional police", Makassar Polrestabes operations section head police commander Nugraha Pamungkas told CNN Indonesia.

The action began at 10 am and was to finished at 2 pm but the protest is expected to continue until later in the afternoon when several other labour groups will hold similar actions. (mir/dmr/sur)

[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The second half of the article on May Day rallies in Semarang was not translated as it is already included in a translation titled May Day rally in Bandung demands repeal of Omnibus Law, full holiday bonuses. The original title of the article was "Hari Buruh di Makassar Diwarnai Aksi Bakar Ban".]