City to set up schemes to pla­cate work­ers

The Jakarta Post - - FRONT PAGE - Ivany Atina Arbi

Thou­sands of work­ers stage protest de­mand­ing higher pro­vin­cial min­i­mum wage Deputy Gov­er­nor San­di­aga Uno looks at schemes to re­duce their daily ex­penses

The Jakarta ad­min­is­tra­tion says it can­not meet work­ers’ de­mands for higher pro­vin­cial min­i­mum wages af­ter about 3,000 protested in front of City Hall on Fri­day.

The city in­stead promised to re­duce the work­ers’ cost of liv­ing by re­duc­ing com­mod­ity prices and or­ga­niz­ing free bus rides.

Deputy Gov­er­nor San­di­aga Uno said he had asked city-owned mar­ket op­er­a­tor PD Pasar Jaya and city-owned bus op­er­a­tor PT Tran­s­jakarta to ar­range schemes that would lower the cost of liv­ing for work­ers in Jakarta.

“PD Pasar Jaya pres­i­dent di­rec­tor Arief is study­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of us­ing PD Pasar Jaya card to get lower com­mod­ity prices. The card will be handed to the work­ers,” San­di­aga said, adding that PT Tran­s­jakarta pres­i­dent di­rec­tor Budi Kali­wono was look­ing at free bus rides.

“The work­ers who would get these in­cen­tive were those who pos­sessed Jakarta ID cards,” San­di­aga added.

The work­ers from var­i­ous unions, such as the Na­tional Work­ers Union (SPN), the In­done­sian Metal Work­ers Fed­er­a­tion (FSPMI) and the In­done­sian Work­ers Union As­so­ci­a­tion (Aspek), staged the protest to co­in­cide with Na­tional Heroes Day.

They also de­manded that Gov­ern­ment Reg­u­la­tion No.78/2015 on wages be re­voked.

Last week, Gov­er­nor Anies Baswedan an­nounced that the 2018 min­i­mum wage stood at Rp 3.6 mil­lion (US$266). It was set by tak­ing into ac­count in­fla­tion and eco­nomic growth, as stip­u­lated by Gov­ern­ment Reg­u­la­tion No. 78/2015.

At the rally, the deputy pres­i­dent of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­done­sian Work­ers Unions (KSPI), Muhamad Rusdi, said Anies and San­di­aga had bro­ken their cam­paign prom­ise to set the min­i­mum wage us­ing Law No. 13/2003 on man­power. Ac­cord­ing to the law, the min­i­mum wage shall be set by tak­ing into ac­count the ba­sic cost of liv­ing, in­fla­tion and eco­nomic growth.

If the min­i­mum wage was set by us­ing the law on man­power, the wage would stand at Rp 3.9 mil­lion, Rusdi said.

He added that the min­i­mum wage for Jakarta should be higher than that of Karawang and Bekasi in West Java be­cause the cost of liv­ing is higher in the cap­i­tal.

“[To set the min­i­mum wage in Jakarta at Rp 3.6 mil­lion] is weird be­cause the cost of liv­ing here is higher than those in the other two re­gions,” he said, adding that the min­i­mum wage for Karawang and Bekasi stands at Rp 3.5 mil­lion and Rp 3.6 mil­lion, re­spec­tively.

San­di­aga said the city had worked on in­creas­ing the work­ers’ pros­per­ity by in­creas­ing the min­i­mum wage from last year’s Rp 3.3 mil­lion to Rp 3.6 mil­lion this year, an 8 per­cent in­crease.

“What the ad­min­is­tra­tion is do­ing now is in­creas­ing the min­i­mum wage as well as re­duc­ing their cost of liv­ing,” he said.

A pro­tester, Sita Ayu, 23, said her monthly salary only stood at Rp 3.1 mil­lion.

Sita, who works at a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal fac­tory in Pulo Gadung in East Jakarta, said it was not enough to sup­port her fam­ily.

The rally, which started at about 9 a.m., was mon­i­tored by about 15,600 per­son­nel from the Jakarta Po­lice, the Na­tional Po­lice Mo­bile Brigade Com­mand (Bri­mob) and the In­done­sian Mil­i­tary (TNI), Jakarta Po­lice chief Insp. Gen. Id­ham Azis said.

He added that the num­ber of pro­test­ers who at­tended rally was lower than ex­pected.

“They said there would be more than 10,000 pro­test­ers to­day, but the fig­ure was much lower than that, only be­tween 3,000 and 4,000 pro­test­ers,” Id­ham said.

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