Minimum wage set, Jakarta workers disappointed

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Jakarta Labor Forum expressed disappointment with Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo for approving a minimum wage of Rp2.441 million per month for Jakarta workers.

Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi gave his approval to a recommendation from the Wage Council setting a new minimum wage at Rp2.441 million per month or an increase from the old level of Rp2.2 million.

"I have approved and signed the new minimum wage for Jakarta based on recommendation from the Wage Council," Jokowi said.

Chairman of Labor Forum Muhammad Toha expressed disappointment with Jokowi for approving the recommendation, which he described as illogical.

Toha pointed to a recent 40 percent hike in the prices of oil fuels that pushed up the prices of all basic necessities.

With Jokowi giving his approval in favor of the employers, there is no other way but for us to continue the strike, Toha said.

On Thursday, the Indonesian Federation of Labor Union called for two-day nation wide strike to end on Friday.

The federation said three million workers would take part in the strike to press for their long demand to end outsourcing system of labor recruitment, pay hike and social security allowance.

Toha threatened unless Jokowi came to meet them and withdraw or change his approval the workers will spend the night and day at the City Hall.

"There is no more time limit for the striking days," he said.

He accused the government of being dictated by "black conglomerates" to go against the workers and that the new minimum wage recommended by the Wage Council was an idea came from the black conglomerates.

"The new minimum wage would not be enough to meet the rising living cost. We ask Jokowi to change his decision, which is an insult to the workers," he said.

Jokowi said he was presented two recommendations with two different figures for new minimum wage to be signed.

The first was from employers, who wanted the minimum wage the same as the Reasonable Living Requirement (KHL) which is estimated at Rp2.299 million a month in Jakarta .

The second figure was Rp2.441 million recommended by the Wage Council after a marathon meetings not attended by the labor unions.

The governor then gave his signature on the recommendation from the Wage Council.

Jokowi said he hoped there would be no more opposition to the decision.

"Last year the minimum wage was raised 50 percent and protest was still directed at me. Whatever the decision is based on the result of the meeting of the Wage Council," he said.(*)