Commemorating May Day on May 14, workers in Jakarta issue 18 demands

Source – May 14, 2022
Workers rally in front of DPR building in Jakarta – May 14, 2022 (Kompas)

Ahmad Naufal Dzulfaroh – A protest action commemorating International Labour Day or May Day took place today, Saturday May 14, in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building and the Bung Karno Sports Stadium (GBK) in Jakarta.

Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal said that four trade unions took part in the demonstration today.

They were the Labour Party, the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), the Indonesian Confederation of Prosperity Labour Unions (KSBSI) and the Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI).

In addition to these, the Indonesian Farmers Union (SPI), the Migrant Workers [Trade Union (SBMI)], the Honorary Teachers Forum (FGH), activists from trusted women's organisatins, the National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (Jala PRT) and online motorcycle taxi drivers also took part in the May Day demonstration today.

So, what were the demands made during this years demonstration?

Iqbal said that there were 18 issues which were being articulated during the demonstration this year:

1. Reject the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

2. Bring down the price of basic goods (cooking oil, meat, flour and eggs), fuel and LPG.

3. Enact the Draft Law on the Protection of Domestic Workers, reject revisions to the Draft Law on the Formation of Legislation (RUU PPP) and reject revisions to the Draft Law on Trade Unions (UU SP/SB).

4. Reject low wages.

5. Abolish outsourcing.

6. Reject the Value Added Tax (PPn) increase.

7. Enact the Draft Government Regulation (RPP) on the Protection of Ship Crew Members (ABK) and Migrant Workers.

8. Reject a reduction in healthcare insurance participants.

9. Realise food severity and agrarian reform.

10. Stop the criminalisation of farmers.

11. Affordable education and free compulsory education up to 15 years.

12. Promote honorary teachers and workers to state civil servants (PNS).

13. Empowerment of the informal sector.

14. Ratify International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention Number 190 on the Abolition of Violence and Harassment in the Workplace.

15. Online motorcycle drivers are workers, not partners with an unclear employment.

16. Hold the legislative and presidential elections as scheduled on February 14, 2024 in a manner which if honest, fair and without money politics.

17. Redistribute wealth justly by increasing social welfare programs (food, housing, unemployment, education and clean water).

18. No one is allowed to go hungry in a country that is rich.

It is estimated that as many as 50 thousand workers from greater Jakarta, West Java and Banten provinces attended the May Day demonstrations today.

After giving speeches in front of the parliamentary building, at around 12 noon the protesters set off on a long-march in the direction of the GBK where they will commemorated May Day.

Prior to this they covered the parliamentary complex front gate with a huge banner containing the demonstrator's demands. Many of the protesters brought demonstration materials, carried banners and flew the flags of their respective organisations.

The May Day Fiesta organised at the GBK will include video speeches by international trade unions and labour parties from other countries.

-- M Chaerul Halim, Reza Agustian, Tria Sutrisna


Because May Day this year fell on the first day of the Lebaran holidays following the Islamic fasting month, when millions of people return to their hometowns, peak trade unions groups behind the Labour Party such as the KSPI and the KSBSI opted to hold major rallies on May 14. A smaller rally by the same groups was held in front of the General Elections Commission (KPU) building in Central Jakarta on May 1.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "18 Tuntutan Buruh dalam Demo May Day Hari Ini, Apa Saja?".]