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Indonesia – violence against union protestors

2 November, 201525 demonstrators were arrested and many were injured when 35,000 people took to the streets of Jakarta to protest against a new regulation that excludes trade unions from the minimum wage setting process.

On 30 October, an estimated 35,000 people rallied in front of the presidential palace in Jakarta to voice their discontent with the new system, which leaves workers with no influence in setting the minimum wage.

Police used water canons and tear gas to try and disperse the crowds. Some of the workers who refused to abandon the peaceful demonstration were dragged into police cars and beaten.  

Out of the 25 people arrested, seven are members of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate FSPMI. After interrogation they were all released the following day on 31 October.

IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina says:

“This is a big step back for Indonesia and its democratic process. Denying workers the right to peacefully protest against the new system for a minimum wage, which effectively curtails the unions’ influence, is wholly unacceptable.

“We urge the government to withdraw the new regulation, which ends workers’ involvement in setting the minimum wage and violates ILO conventions 87 and 98.”

Indonesian trade union centres KSPI (FSPMI, Farkes, SPN,KEP, ISI), KSPSI (cemwu), KSBSI (Lomenik, FPE, Garteks) FSBI, KPKPBI, FBLP,SBSI 92, PGRI, are standing together to:
·      Refuse the government’s regulation (PP NO 78/2015) on setting the minimum wage without workers’ involvement
·      Refuse the formula of the new minimum wage based only on GDP and economic growth (less than 10 per cent)
·      Demand an increase to the 2016 minimum wage of 22 per cent or IDR 500.000 (US$36)