May Day in Jakarta

jakarta

Protests in downtown Jakarta (image courtesy Asia Foundation)

More than 100,000 workers are expected to fill the streets of Jakarta today to demand an increase to the minimum wage, workplace protections, and basic healthcare as Indonesia marks May Day as a public holiday for the first time.

Workers will march from several areas across Jakarta from the Pulogadung Industrial Area, KBN & Cakung converging at HI roundabout before heading towards the Presidential Palace in Central Jakarta, and will probably shut down the city – as May Day protests did last year. And I won’t be going into the city until later, so I should be spared the chaos.

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Ex-Adidas workers who continue to protest their mistreatment will also march alongside unions. Women who worked at the Adidas factory in Jakarta reportedly earned around 50 cents an hour making shoes until they were sacked without severance pay. Adidas still hasn’t paid them.

For one day of of protest, Indonesia’s workers are not asking for all that much 

The minimum wage in Jakarta is 2,441 Rupiah or $209.00 USD per month, and is highest in the country. It is calculated as a workweek comprised of 7 hour days at 40 hours a week as a 6 day workweek, or as 8 hour a days at 5 a days a week. But most at the minimum wage end of the labour market do not receive the minimum, particularly in the informal and unskilled sectors. Those that do receive the minimum wage still struggle find it hard to survive with the cost of living in Jakarta rising each month.

Selamat hari buruh kawan-kawan!

 

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