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Violent end to Indonesian strike

5 November, 2013A national strike was held in Indonesia on 31 October and 1 November with more than 1,5 million participants. Although peaceful demonstrations were held in most regions, violent outbreaks injured a number people.

Strikes took place throughout Indonesia, gathering a total of 1,5 million workers demanding, among other things, an increased minimum wage. Despite pleas for peaceful demonstrations violent clashes occurred. 17 protesters were injured; one still remains in critical condition.

“We wanted safe demonstrations, but paramilitary forces attacked workers with beams and knifes. They were allegedly paid by the government and employers,” says Said Iqbal, President of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate FSPMI and the Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI).

After the two-day strike, the Govenor and employer’s association agreed upon a minimum wage for Jakarta. According to trade unions the new minimum wage is still too low, arguing that the nine per cent rise is lower than the inflation and a return to a low wage system. 

IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Jyrki Raina says:

“We support our members in Indonesia and their struggle. They have our relentless support in continuing to build unity among trade unions and stopping the government and employers from using this division against workers.”