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Thousands of workers rally in Bandung demanding 20% minimum wage rise

Detik News - November 19, 2018

Mochamad Solehudin, Bandung – Thousands of workers from several different trade unions have rallied at the Gedung Sate building in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung demanding a 20 percent increase in the municipal minimum wage (UMK)

The workers began gathering in front of the governor's office at around 11am on Monday November 19. They brought various kinds of paraphernalia such as banners and posters articulating their demands.

One by one, trade union representatives gave speeches from atop of the command vehicle. The sun's intense heat did not lessen the workers' spirit in fighting for their demands.

Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) chairperson Roy Jinto said that the action was held to articulate various demands being fought for by workers.

One of these is demanding that the 2019 UMK wage rise not be based on Government Regulation Number 78/2015 (PP 78), which ties annual wages to inflation and productivity.

Jinto said that they are demanding that West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil increase the 2019 minimum wage by 20 percent rather that the 8.03 percent increase that has been set by the central government.

"Because the governor of Jatim [East Java] has already set the regency and municipal UMK at more than 8.03 percent. Moreover in Jatim the UMK wage rise was as much as 24 percent. Meaning there is no prohibition on setting the minimum wage outside of the PP 78", said Jinto during a break in the action.

The KSPSI is calling on the governor to have the courage to follow the East Java minimum wage increase. Don't set the 2019 minimum wage in Jabar (West Java) just based on the PP 78/2015 he said. "The governor of Jabar must have courage", he said.

Jinto also called on the West Java provincial government to issue an official letter revoking Gubernatorial Regulation Number 54/2018 [issued in October on procedures for setting the West Java provincial, regency and municipal minimum wage].

Because, according to Jinto, the recent announcement revoking the regulation was only a political statement which was conveyed by a local government official. "Because it was just a statement, we are asking the governor to draft an official letter", he said.

Jinto said that his trade union wants the governor to issue a circular to all West Java regents and mayors to facilitate negotiations on the 2019 Regency Sectoral Minimum Wage (UMSK).

"[We are] asking the governor to draft a letter to regents and mayors throughout Jabar to facilitate [negotiations on] the UMSK 2019", he said.

Jinto along with thousands of other workers are threatening to continue protesting until their demands are met, and are planning to mobilise even more people if no agreement is reached with the government.

"Today there were 12 trade unions which joined the action. An estimated 5 thousand people. We will continue protesting until the 23rd because we have a [police] permit until that date. We will maintain the rage with even more protesters", he said. (mso/tro)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Buruh Jabar Tuntut Ridwan Kamil Naikkan UMK Hingga 20 Persen.]

Source: https://news.detik.com/jawabarat/4308241/buruh-jabar-tuntut-ridwan-kamil-naikkan-umk-hingga-20-persen.

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