Bandung Labour Alliance demands decent minimum wage on May Day

JPNN – May 1, 2023
Bandung Labour Alliance members holds posters at May Day commemoration in Bandung – May 2, 2023 (JPNN)

Ridwan Abdul Malik, Bandung – The Greater Bandung Labour Alliance (ABBR) held a demonstration commemorating International Labour Day or May Day which fell on Monday May 1.

Although this year's commemorations were centred on Jakarta, a number of workers still held protest actions in the West Java capital of Bandung, one of which was held at the Kusumaatmadja Flyover.

The scores of workers, who came from the National Trade Union Confederation (KSN), the Militant Trade Union Federation (F-SEBUMI), Lion and other trade unions, took turns in giving speeches.

One of the issues that were articulated during the action was the West Java minimum wage (UMK), which is still seen as inadequate.

"Indonesian workers, with the minimum wages, can live, get motorcycle credit and live an economical life, extraordinary", said Ncep, one of the speakers on Monday.

"Those who are honest are poor, God willing those who are honest and poor will enter heaven, only there aren’t any that are strong, there are many obstacles and hindrances, much intimidation, but I'm still alive and fighting", he said.

He also highlighted the sustainability of education for workers' children. With the current minimum wage, workers' children's education will not be high.

"How can our school children attend higher education, so that they don't become workers [like us]", he said.

Ncep also said that he believes that the Job Creation (Cipta Karja) Law is killing workers. Under the pretext of efficiency, many workers are sacked and their work contracts terminated.

Thus he hopes that with the momentum of May Day 2023 workers can rise up and workers' welfare will continue to improve.

"Rise up from this day, on May Day. We must rise up and fight, there is no struggle that is futile, we must awaken [and keep fighting] until you're in your grave. Hopefully May 1 will be the momentum for the working people's resistance, the workers' resistance, the students' resistance, long live the workers, long live the students, long live the Indonesian people", he said.

Speaking at the same location, ABBR public relations officer Rifki Zulfokar said that on Labour Day 2023 the Alliance has opened a coordination post (posko) for workers to register complaints about violations committed by companies.

"Today on May 1, Labour Day commemorates a huge historical milestone for changing working conditions in the workplace", said Zulfokar.

Aside from the demonstration, the Alliance is also campaigning on the issue of violations against workers' normative rights, which is why they have opened the coordination posts.

"We are campaigning big on the issue of normative rights violations and we have opened labour complaint coordination posts, complaint coordination posts for the problems of workers in Bandung regency and Bandung city", he explained.

"After this campaign we hope to be able to advocate for workers' problems. We will campaign, that's why the Greater Bandung Labour Alliance has open labour rights violation complaint coordination posts", he said. (mcr27/jpnn)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Peringati May Day 2023, Aliansi Buruh Bandung Raya Tuntut Upah UMK yang Layak".]