Workers plan massive demo against 25% wage cut for labour-intensive industries

Tribun Batam – March 18, 2023
Labour Party demonstration in Bintan, Riau province – Undated (Tribune)

Jakarta – Workers plan to hold a massive demonstration at the Ministry of Labour (Kemnaker) offices in Jakarta on March 21. The action is being held to oppose recently issued Labour Minister Regulation (Permenaker) Number 5/2023.

The Permenaker regulates the adjustment of work times and wages in certain labor-intensive export orientated industrial companies that have been impacted upon by changes to the global economy.

One of the rules allows for labour-intensive industries impacted upon by changes to the global economy to pay wages to workers and labourers of at least 75 percent of the wages they usually receive.

Meaning that workers' wages can be cut by 25 percent of their usual amount.

Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) President and president of the Labour Party, Said Iqbal, says that the massive labour rally at the Labour Ministry's offices will be held on March 21.

"The action will begin at 10 am and involve workers from Jabodetabek [the Greater Jakarta area]", said Iqbal at a virtual press conference organised by the Labour Party on Saturday March 18 as reported by

According to Iqbal, the new Labour Minister's policy means that wages can be cut by as much as 25 percent in labour-intensive export orientated industries.

"Workers strongly oppose the Permenaker Number 5/2023 and will fight back as hard as possible against this Permenaker", he asserted.

Iqbal said that the government should instead provide incentives to labour-intensive as well as capital intensive industries that are experiencing difficulties.

He believes that the policy on cutting wages is no different from Human Resources Development (HRD) that cuts wages when workers do not come in to work or are late in arriving for work.

Iqbal therefore asserted that the Labour Party and other trade union organisations will take steps to oppose the policy.

The first strategy will be to fight the regulation using the law through the State Administrative Court (PTUN). Second, running a national and international campaign.

According to Iqbal, the wage cut resembles rentierism on the part of the Labour Minister Ida Fauziyah.

"The Labour Minister is like a rentier. Sorry, yeah, it's her policies that I'm criticising. Don't be like a rentier, this cutting of 25 percent. It's callousness is worse than pinjol [online lending]", said Iqbal. (

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Buruh Akan Demo di Kantor Kemnaker, Tolak Aturan Baru Soal Potong Upah 25 Persen".]