Irfan Maullana, Bekasi – Workers held another demonstration on Jalan Ahmad Yani in front of the Bekasi Labour Office (Disnaker) in West Java on Thursday November 30. They were demanding an increase in the minimum municipal wage (UMK).
Action coordinator Yusuf Kuncir said that the protesting workers had spilled onto the streets of the cities and regencies in West Java, including Bekasi.
"For today we're not yet holding a national strike, just actions in each region. Our target is to paralyse areas in the cities and regencies that are in West Java", said Kuncir in front of the Mega Bekasi Mall on Thursday.
Kuncir said that the workers are monitoring the determination of the 2024 Bekasi UMK that will be set by acting West Java governor Bey Machmudin today.
"In essence, today is the last day to determine the municipal and regency minimum wage across West Java, like it or not we must monitor this", he explained.
Yusuf said that the workers have taken to the streets because it has been reported that the determination of the UMK increase will use Government Regulation Number 51/2023 (PP 51/2023) as a reference.
"If it's not wrong the statement by friends (works) who are the province is that the acting governor has decided to use PP 51/2023", he added.
If this news is correct, continued Yusuf, the 2024 UMK increase will in fact be detrimental to workers.
"Essentially this will be detrimental to workers, like it or not we are monitoring it today, even if today blood is spilled we are ready", he asserted.
Yusuf said that this demonstration is just the start. Workers will close off a number of roads in the cities and regencies in West Java.
After the increase in the West Java minimum provincial wage (UMP) was set at only 3.57 percent, workers became concerned that the municipal and regency wage increase would be not far from the UMP.
Therefore they are holding demonstrations at a number of different places to ask municipal and regency government to make the Bekasi UMK increase for 2024 higher than this.
Acting Bekasi Mayor Raden Gani Muhamad has proposed that the Bekasi UMK for 2024 increase by 14.02 percent or by 723,186 rupiah from 5,158,248 to 5,881,434 rupiah a month.
Raden Gani has submitted signed a letter of recommendation on the UMK to the West Java provincial government. The Bekasi city UMK will later be decided by the West Java provincial government. But as an acting mayor, he can only make a recommendation.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Demo Tuntut Kenaikan UMK Bekasi 2024, Buruh: Kami Lumpuhkan Wilayah Kota dan Kabupaten".]