7 May 2012

Indonesia: Thousands of workers commemorate May Day

Workers in Aceh call for ratification of labour law, social security

Atjeh Post - May 1, 2012

Demo Hari Buruh di Banda Aceh - Atjeh Pos. Selasa, 01 Mei 2012

Taufan Mustafa, Banda Aceh -- A demonstration commemorating International Labour Day in the Achenese provincial capital of Banda Aceh on Tuesday May 1 began with a convoy from the Raya Baiturrahman Mosque to the Aceh governor's office.

The protest was then continued at the Aceh House of Representatives (DPRA). In speeches the workers conveyed their wishes to DPRA Deputy Speaker Amir Helmi. One of the workers' demands was for the DPRA to immediacy ratify a qanun (bylaw) on labour.

"Hopefully these aspirations will be conveyed to the concerned party, the qanun on labour will be deliberated again. Workers also have to be covered by Jamsostek (workers social security program)", aid Helmi.

After protesting at the DPRA, the demonstrators continued the action at the Simpang Lima traffic circle in Banda Aceh.

[Translated by James Balowski.]


Bandung trade unions call for reasonable wages, reject fuel price hikes

Detik News - May 1, 2012

Buruh Tuntut 1 Mei Libur Nasional dan Upah Layak - detikBandung. Selasa, 01/05/2012

Baban Gandapurnama, Bandung -- Thousands of workers and other groups, which took to the streets to commemorate International Labour Day or May Day at the Gedung Sate governor's office in the West Java Provincial capital of Bandung,
voiced almost identical demands.

The protest action by workers from the All Indonesia Trade Union (SBSI) 1992, the National Trade Union Confederation (KSN) and the Solidarity Alliance for Labour Struggle (GSPB), proceeded peacefully with workers' representatives taking turns giving speeches.

"Make May 1 a national holiday. We also demand a reasonable national wage to be given to all workers", said the chairperson of the West Java branch of SBSI 1992, Ajat Sudrajat, when speaking at the action on Tuesday May 1.

Sudrajat said that workers will not stop struggling for their rights and that the momentum of May Day will be used by workers to demand prosperity. "Workers' demands are all the same. Namely, rejecting increases to fuel prices and electricity rates, abolishing contract labour and outsourcing, and providing social security", said Sudrajat.

The workers brought several posters to the demonstration with messages such as, "A reasonable wage now", "Stop union busting" and "Stop muzzling trade unions". As of 11.30am the action was still continuing. (bbn/ern)

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]


100 thousand workers in Jakarta descend on State Palace for May Day

Republika - May 1, 2012

Massa Buruh Tuntut Kesejahtaraan di Depan Istana - Republika.co. Selasa, 01 Mei 2012

Jakarta -- As many as 100,000 workers from an alliance of trade unions held May Day action in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Tuesday May 1 demanding welfare for the working class.

The protesters came from the All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI), the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), the Confederation of Prosperity Labor Unions (KSBSI), the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI), the National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (JALA PRT), the Indonesian Association of Trade Unions (ASPEK) and the i
Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI).

The protesters, who packed the area north of the National Monument in front of the State Palace, demanded that the government pay serious attention to workers' welfare, including establishing life-long universal healthcare insurance by

January 1, 2014 (including for assistant, honorary and contract teachers) and establishing a compulsory pension insurance shame for workers by July 1, 2015.

They also demanded that the reasonable living cost index (KHL) be raised through a revision to Department of Labour and Transmigration Regulation Number 17/2005 on KHL. In addition to this they called for the abolition of outsourcing systems (contract labour), providing subsidies to workers and their families through state and regional budgets (housing, education, healthcare and transportation subsidies) and for May 1 to be made into a national holiday.

At 1pm the protesters disbanded and moved off to the Bung Karno Sports Stadium after giving speeches for around one-and-a-half hours. The protest action proceeded in an orderly manner without any disturbances. As of filing this story, traffic was still being redirected since a number of demonstrators were still in the vicinity of the State Palace.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]


Trade unions in Semarang reject minimum wage, outsourcing

Detik News - May 1, 2012

Ribuan Buruh Geruduk Kantor Gubernur Jateng - detikNews. Selasa, 01/05/2012

Angling Adhitya Purbaya, Semarang -- Commemorating May Day, thousands of workers from the Workers Challenge Movement (Gerbang) held a protest action at the Central Java governors' office on Jl. Pahlawan in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang.

The protesters came from a number of different organisations including the National Trade Union (SPN), the Kahutindo Trade Union (SPK), the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FSPI), the People's Democratic Party (PRD) and the Indonesian Workers Federation (FPI).

During the action, the protesters gave speeches and demanded their rights in front of the governor's office. Earlier, they also blockaded a road in the vicinity of the Mangkang weigh bridge.

They demanded reasonable wages, an end to contract labour and outsourcing, law enforcement and for May 1 to be declared a national holiday. "We feel that the determination of the UMK (municipal minimum wage) by the Central Java governor does not side with workers", said Semarang city Gerbang coordinator Heru Budi Utoyo.

The protesters said that the 991,500 rupiah a month wage set by governor in November 2011 is only sufficient for unmarried workers without families. "If workers are deemed to be troublesome then quick action is taken, but if a company is in the wrong action takes a long time or is even permitted", said Utoyo.

The demonstration brought traffic between Siranda and Simpang Lima to a standstill and vehicles had to be redirected. Police kept a close watch over the action with five water cannons prepared to anticipate anything undesirable occurring.


[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]


Protesting workers in Surabaya blockades governor's office

Media Indonesia - May 1, 2012

Buruh Blokade Jalan Depan Gedung Grahadi - Media Indonesia. Selasa, 01 Mei 2012

Faishol, Surabaya -- Thousands of workers from various parts of East Java poured into the grounds of the State Grahadi Building in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya.

They also blockaded the road in front of the East Java governor's official office where they gave speeches, forcing a number of lanes of traffic to be redirected.

The commemoration of this year's May Day was uses as a momentum by the Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI) to articulate their demands, namely the abolition of outsourcing, rejecting low wages and for revisions to Ministry of Labour Regulation Number 17/2005, which only includes 46 reasonable living cost index components.

Hery Mardyanto, the head of the FSPMI Surabaya branch, said that the trade union is asking for a total of 86 reasonable living cost index components. The most crucial of which is schooling fees and the price of fuel.

They also called on the government to immediately realise social security services that are planned to be socialised in February 2014, particularly for workers.

A short time earlier, around 50 protesters from the Federated Indonesian Trade Union Alliance Front (FASBI) joined the FSPMI action in front of the State Grahadi Building. (FL/OL-10)

[Abridged translation by James Balowski.]


May Day action in Yogya slams outsourcing as 'modern form of slavery'

Detik News - May 1, 2012

Peringati May Day, Buruh-Mahasiswa Yogya Nyanyi 'Iwak Peyek' – detikNews. Selasa, 01/05/2012

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta -- Thousands of students and workers in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta commemorated International Labour Day or May Day on Tuesday May 1.

The action, which was organised in a series of waves, was centered on the Malioboro shopping district, the Yogyakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building and kilometer point zero or the intersection in front of the Yogyakarta central post office.

A number of different organisations took to the streets including, among others, the Bantul branch of the Indonesian Independent Trade Union Federation (FSBII), the Yogyakarta Workers Alliance (ABY), the Indonesian Trade Union Action Committee (Kasbi), the Yogyakarta Special Province Non-Government Organisation Forum (Forum LSM DIY), the Yogyakarta People's Alliance (ARY), the People's Challenge Alliance (ARM), the Kemudo Workers Association (PBK), the Gendong Workers Association (PBG), the Gadjah Mada University Student Executive Council Community of Students (BEM-KM UGM), the Islamic Students Association (HMI) and the Indonesian Youth Front for Struggle (FPPI).

All of the actions began at the Abu Bakar Ali parking lot on the northern side of the Inna Garuda Hotel followed by a long-march to the grounds of the Yogyakarta DPRD on Jl. Malioboro and ending at the central post office.

In addition to taking turns giving speeches, what also made the action interesting was a recital of the song "Iwak Peyek" (a popular hit song), the lyrics of which were changed to words articulating the misfortunes of the working class.

The lyrics of the song became, "Iwak peyek, iwak peyek, an ear of corn, fuel prices go up, fuel prices go up, the people are blunted. Here we call in the promise, why is outsourcing legalised, why are workers' wages lowered", which were sung as they few the flags of their respective trade unions.

During the march through the Malioboro area, the protesters also held a theatrical action. Four for the demonstrators played the role of workers with their bodies smeared in red paint and their feet tied to a box made from black cardboard pushing a trishaw carrying an employer.

During an action on the grounds of the Yogyakarta DPRD meanwhile, other protesters held a sleep in and a "walking backwards" action. This was an expression of protest against the president and vice-president who just sleep and pay no attention to the misfortunes of the workers. The walking backwards action was an expression of the degeneration the ordinary people and workers' quality of life.

In a speech, ABY Secretary General Kirnadi said that they reject and are demanding the abolition of contract and outsourcing systems because they only benefit employers and are not in accordance with wage regulations. Workers' labour is squeezed out of them and when they finish their term of employment, their contracts are terminated.

"Outsourcing systems are a form of modern or new style of slavery, it must be abolished", shouted Kirnadi. He also criticised the low level of Yogyakarta's province minimum wage (UMP), which is lower than other areas, and the muzzling of trade unions in several companies, some of which were even prevented from joining the May Day actions.

"We also call on the government not realise the fuel price hikes (which were delayed on April 1), bring down the price of basic commodities, provide social security for workers and reject discrimination against women workers", he said.

There was only a limited security presence during the actions with police mainly regulating the flow of traffic along the length of Malioboro. (bgs/nrl)

In Jakarta

No comments: