"All related parties have been involved. There were representatives of laborers. The Remuneration Council is also a representative of the workers. It is impossible to involve all, one million people. Their aspirations have been met. It is not true if there is a claim saying that laborers were not involved," Kalla clarified at his vice presidential office here on Friday.
He pointed out that the government and the workers Remuneration Council have agreed to improve the workers welfare.
"It is their right to accept or reject it, but the government also has the right to make regulations based on the law. We have already shared the same opinion to increase the prosperity of the workers," he noted.
On Friday, tens of thousands of workers held rallies in front of the State Palace to reject the governments new regulation on the wage system.
Some 50 thousand laborers threatened to spend the night in front of the State Palace until the government withdrew its Regulation Number 78 of 2015, despite the fact that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is still on a visit to Riau Province.
"About 50 thousand workers from 40 labor confederations across the country have gathered on Friday at the National Monument (Monas) Square, Central Jakara. Some are still on the way to the rally sites," stated Heri, a member of the All Indonesian Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI) of Surabaya.
Workers associations from all regions across the country have rejected Government Regulation Number 78 of 2015 on the wage system. The workers believe that the increase in wages would not improve their welfare as the nation will soon face the ASEAN Economic Community.
The workers said the new governments formula on the labor wage system annuls the Remuneration Councils participation in formulating the increase in the regional minimum wage as it had occurred in the previous years.
The workers believe that the new formula deprives their unions of the right to take part in deciding the increase in their wages. Moreover, the involvement of workers associations is considered important in formulating the wage hike.
Manpower Minister H. Hanif Dhakiri recently affirmed that the issuance of the government regulation on the provincial minimum wage is a breakthrough in the employment sector in Indonesia as the decision to formulate the regulation was earlier influenced by various elements of politics, thereby leading to irrational wage hikes and uncertainty.
"In essence, wages are the right of the workers and employers. The state has a minimum wage policy to protect workers from becoming trapped into working at low wages and safeguard the interests of the unemployed, so that they could gain employment in the workforce market and safeguard employers, so that their businesses develop and job opportunities increase," the minister emphasized.
Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution noted on October 15 that the formula for the salary hike next year is based on the monthly wage this year plus a percentage increase based on the rate of inflation and economic growth.
Nasution cited an example that if the inflation and economic growth this year are respectively five percent, the minimum monthly wage next year will be the amount of this years minimum monthly wage plus 10 percent of this years monthly salary.
Based on the policy package, the annual wage increase is formulated based on the formula "minimum wage + (minimum wage x (inflation percentage + economic growth percentage))."