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ILO must act on living wages and against precarious work

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16 June, 2012Addressing the plenary of the International Labour Conference, Said Iqbal, the leader of IndustriALL affiliate FSPMI, proposed that the ILC take action to improve wages and reduce precarious work.

On Friday 8 June , Said Iqbal, President of Indonesian national centre KSBI and President of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate FSPMI delivered a speech to the plenary of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in which he drew attention to the two most urgent problems facing Indonesian workers: the absence of a living wage and the expansion of precarious work.

Iqbal told ILC delegates that in Indonesia, the average of wage is only sufficient to support workers and their families for 18 days a month, leaving 12 days each month when they must go in debt to meet their basic needs. He stressed that low wages in developing countries create a cycle of poverty for workers and called on the ILO to urge particularly multinational companies to provide a living wage to workers in developing countries.

"The exploitation of workers in developing countries, including Indonesia, is exacerbated by the imposition  of precarious work and the lack of a social protection floor which increases the length of the cycle of poverty. In Indonesia, precarious work in capital-intensive industries is at a rate of 47 per cent and in labor-intensive industries it is at 80 per cent," said Iqbal. "Precarious work leads to declining union membership density, no implementation of the social protection floor, more and more younger workers losing their jobs, and no more job or income security."

Iqbal ended his speech by calling for an ILO Convention against precarious work and implementation of decent wages worldwide