Around 35,000 workers took to the streets of Jakarta on 1 September to demand a new minimum wage for 2016 and improved labour laws. Indonesia’s main trade union centres, KSPI, KSPSI, and KSBSI are asking that the government increase their efforts to protect the interests of the people.
Indonesia is experiencing a period of slower economic growth, with around 26,000 workers having already lost their jobs this year. With a large part of the Indonesian population already living just above the poverty line, unions are demanding that the central government guarantee the availability of jobs, as well as the basic rights of workers.
On 1 September, thousands of workers demonstrated in Jakarta and in 20 other provinces around the country. They called for a 22 per cent increase of the minimum wage for 2016 to increase purchasing power, as well as lower prices on essential goods, including fuel.
In addition, unions are demanding that contract workers are turned into permanent employees, particularly in state-owned enterprises, and a complete disbandment of the Industrial Court. Currently the Industrial Court is too time and money consuming to be a reliable option for industrial conflicts.
IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina says that workers and trade unions play a crucial role in Indonesian industrial relations:
35,000 demonstrators in Jakarta show the enormous force and important voice of the labour movement. IndustriALL fully supports their struggle and ask the government of Indonesia to engage in negotiations.