Workers threaten national strike if 2023 minimum wage not raised by 13%

CNN Indonesia – November 4, 2022
Workers rally in front of Labour Ministry offices in Jakarta – November 4, 2022 (CNN)

Jakarta – Protesting workers from the Labour Party and the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) plan to hold a national strike in December if the demands at today's demonstration are not heeded by the government.

During a demonstration held in front of the Ministry of Labour offices today, Friday October 4, the workers took up four demands. Two of them were an increase in the 2023 Municipal Minimum Wage (UMK) of 13 percent and opposing the Jobs Law.

"We will hold a national strike if the struggle by the Labour Party and its labor organisations are not listened to, that's how it is", asserted Labour Party President Said Iqbal during a press conference at the Ministry of Labour complex in Jakarta today.

Iqbal called for the national strike when speaking before the demonstrators at the Ministry of Labour.

"We only have one call, what?", shouted Iqbal. "A national strike!", replied the protesters in unison.

Iqbal explained that the reason workers are asking for a wage rise of 13 percent is because of predicted inflation and national economic growth levels.

Inflation in January-December is estimated to be as high as 6.5 percent while the Labour Party's research and development (LItbang) division predicts that economic growth will be as high as 4.9 percent.

"If totalled up, the value is 11.4 percent, then we add alfa for the purchasing power of 1.6 percent. So that the increase in wages that we are asking for is 13 percent", said Iqbal.

In addition to this, Iqbal also hopes that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will issue a Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) to annul the 2019 Omnibus Law on Job Creation, saying that the law has already harmed workers.

"Hopefully the president can issue a Perppu to annul the Omnibus Law", said Iqbal.

After conveying their demands, the workers then disbanded and left the Ministry of Labour offices.

Based on CNN Indonesia's observations, as of 3 pm the protesters had gradually begun to disband. By 3.16 pm the action command vehicle had left the location". (mnf/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Buruh Ancam Mogok Nasional Jika Upah 2023 Tak Naik 13 Persen".]