Workers, employers must build harmonious relations: Jokowi

Workers, employers must build harmonious relations: Jokowi

Joko Widodo. (ANTARA/Ujang Zaelani)

What is important now is creating harmonious relations between workers and their employers."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said employers and workers should develop harmonious relations so they could jointly decide upon a basic minimum wage without having conflicts.

"What is important now is creating harmonious relations between workers and their employers. They are together as management, so their relations should be built harmoniously," Jokowi said here on Tuesday.

He added that harmonious relations should be maintained so workers and employers could always communicate well.

"It should not happen that workers and employers meet only when there are matters relating to the minimum wage. This does not demonstrate good relations. Conflicting relations should not build up. If poor relations continue, conflicts will continue to take place," the governor warned.

Referring to the demand of workers for an increase in the decent living cost standard to Rp2.7 million, the governor said if the workers union and employers had met and not agreed to a figure, they then had to report the problem to the governor.

Thousands of workers rallied in front of City Hall here on Tuesday to demand a pay increase.

Workers began arriving at 11am and filled the road in front the City Hall.

Despite heavy rains, they continued the demonstration, and singing labor fight songs, while flying union flags.

"We came here to meet Jokowi and Ahok (the Jakarta governor and deputy governor). We are demanding a raise in the provincial minimum wage (UMP) and inclusion of more items in the Decent Livelihood Components (KHL)," said Winarso, the chairman of the regional executive board of the Federation of Metal Workers Unions (FSPMI).

He noted that the demonstration was only a rehearsal before the national strike planned for October 31 to November 1.

"Later, during the national strike, workers will stop operating all engines in their companies. After the national strike, we hope there will be negotiations with the government for our demands," he said.

Officials of the Jakarta Workers` Remuneration Board said the decent living cost workers should receive monthly amounted to about Rp2.7 million.

"Based on the survey we have conducted, the decent living cost is about Rp2.7 million. So today we, together with the workers federations and other alliances in Jakarta, once again demanded a realistic figure for workers` pay," Jazuli, a member of the Jakarta workers` remuneration board, said here on Tuesday.

He added that a national strike planned next Thursday and Friday could be cancelled if the government was ready to raise the decent living cost standard to Rp2.7 million.

"We want to communicate directly with Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo to discuss our demand. If the governor refuses to meet us, we will spend the night at City Hall and stay until our demand is met," Jazuli warned.

He also said workers were threatening to call a national strike on Thursday and Friday if their demand for proper salary payments was not met.
(Uu.A014/INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)

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