Jakarta workers reject minimum wage at Rp3.1 mln

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Laborers in Jakarta have rejected the monthly provincial minimum wage set by the local government at Rp3.1 million on Friday, claiming the amount was not enough to meet workers decent living cost (KHL) standards.

"The provincial minimum wage is decided on the basis of a reference in the Government Regulation No. 78/2015 on the wage system. However, it should be reviewed by the representatives of the labor unions to see if the government has indeed decided the minimum wage amount based on the KHL components. If not, we will reject it because it does not meet our hopes," Yanti, a member of the Health and Pharmacy Workers Union Federation (FSP Farkes), said as she and her colleagues staged a demonstration at the National Monument (Monas) Square here on Friday.

Yanti said if the Government Regulation (PP) No. 78/2015 is implemented, laborers will face hardship and the government would not be able to guarantee that laborers would not face pressures in the future.

She said the minimum wage system was usually stable but now it has changed. "The government does not look into the laborers needs and only considers economic growth. So, we are of the view that the minimum wage is not being fixed correctly, and therefore, we reject it," noted Yanti.

Head of Jakartas Manpower and Transmigration Service, Priyono, said the calculation of the minimum wage is based on the formula of national inflation rate + regional economic growth x the on-going minimum wage rate. The result of this is added to the monthly minimum wage in the current year.

Sarman Simanjorang, a member of Jakartas Remuneration Council from the business side said for fixing the minimum wage for 2017 and the years that follow, the minimum wage for the current year will be used, not based the KHL, as the basis of calculation.

However, all labor unions in Jakarta and its vicinity rejected the minimum wage set by the Jakarta government.

Some 50 thousand workers have threatened to camp outside the Presidential Palace until President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) revokes Government Regulation Number 76 of 2015 on the labor wage system.

"Some 50 thousand workers from 40 confederations (of labor unions) across Indonesia are gathering at the National Monument (Monas) square today, and some are on their way to join us," Heri, the spokesman for the Confederation of All Indonesia Labor Union (SPSI) of the Surabaya Chapter, revealed here on Friday.

Heri, who has been in Jakarta since Thursday, affirmed that the workers will not give up until the government meets their demand.

"We will continue to stay put until it is really revoked," he emphasized.

Koko, a member of the Confederation of the Indonesian Metal Labor Union (FSPMI) from MM2100 Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java, said he has come to Jakarta along with some 10 thousand workers.

A member of the mass control unit of the National Police (Polri), who chose to remain anonymous, stated that around 17 thousand military and police personnel have been deployed to secure the labor rally.

"They have been deployed at three different locations -- Hotel Indonesia roundabout, Monas square, and the Presidential Palace -- since 7 a.m. local time," he noted.

Some 40 thousand workers from different confederations of labor unions are taking part in the rally. These are the Confederation of All Indonesia Labor Union (KSPSI), Confederation of Indonesian Prosperous Labor Union (KSPSI), Confederation of Indonesia Labor Union (KSPI), Confederation of National Labor Union (SPN) and FSPMI.

Under the government regulation, effective next year, workers will start receiving annual wages, which will be hiked based on the increase in the inflation and economic growth rates.

The policy to introduce the annual increase in the labor wage system was included in the governments fourth economic policy package issued last month.(*)