10 December, 2015Some 3 million workers participated in peaceful demonstrations and actions organized by unions in Indonesia on 24 – 27 November. Yet again the police responded with violence and detained a number of union activists.
Massive mobilizations were organized by three Indonesian trade union centres KSPI (FSPMI, Farkes, SPN,KEP, ISI), KSPSI (CEMWU) and KSBSI (Lomenik, FPE, Garteks) in spite of a strong pressure from the ministry of labour, employers and police. They had labelled the strike illegal and threatened the protesters with sanctions and penalties.
According to eyewitness reports, police used tear gas and water cannons against the demonstrators, who were rallying against the governments proposed minimum wage reforms. A number of trade union activists were detained, but later released by the police.
The national strike was a response to the government’s announcement of minimum wage reforms, which would leave workers in poverty for another five years.
According to new regulations, the minimum wage would be calculated on the basis of inflation and overall economic growth, meaning that in practice workers’ wages would be far lower than the minimum living standards.
IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina said:
We condemn these continued fierce attacks on workers in Indonesia and are deeply disappointed that the government allow brutal methods against peaceful demonstrations.
“We demand an immediate stop to all prosecutions against protesters involved in the national strike. Our members deserve decent living conditions and we will continue to support our affiliates in Indonesia and everywhere in the world in their struggle for a living wage.”
The unions’ demand that the government
- withdraw/cancel the government regulation on minimum wage no 78/2015 which is in opposition to labour law no 13/2003, act no 88 & 89
- reject the minimum wage regulation, as it hinders the existing minimum wage calculation practice and create structural poverty for workers
- increase the minimum wage by 2.6 per cent and all wages for 2016 by IDR 500.000 (US$36), while sectorial wages be must higher than the minimum wage.