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Workers in Bandung reject election politics on May Day

Viva - May 1, 2018

Thousands of workers held a protest action on International Labour Day or May Day near the Gedung Sate building on Jl. Diponegoro in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on Tuesday May 1.

The protesting workers, who came from a number of different trade unions, began arriving at the location at around 10am bringing a huge flag and banners with their demands.

West Java All Indonesian Workers Union-Metal and Electronic Machinery Trade Union Federation (FSP LEM-SPSI) regional leadership board chairperson, Muhammad Sidarta, said he hoped that this year's May Day will not just be a yearly ritual but would be an arena for good relations and reflection on improving industrial relations in Indonesia.

Sidarta also asked that no one raise political campaign issues at this year's action related to the upcoming election of the mayor, the election of regional heads or the presidential elections.

"For my trade union, I am warning them not [to raise issue related to the elections] because it's sensitive. Don't raise issues of presidential candidates and so on. We are genuine, whoever becomes mayor, governor or our president we will continue to support them so no one spreads hatred", said Sidarta.

Sidarta said that they are conveying two demands to the West Java governor. First, with regard to the regional (UMK) or municipal sectoral minimum wage (UMSK) and second, calling on the West Java government to issue a bylaw or gubernatorial decree on labour supervision.

"To this day the setting of the 2015 UMK is still the subject of a polemic because there are no standard guidelines for the regency and city in drafting regulations", he said.

"And labour supervision is still not running effectively. When asked, the government replies that it does not have sufficient staff", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Buruh Bandung Tolak Kegiatan Politik di May Day 2018.]

Source: https://www.viva.co.id/berita/nasional/1032065-buruh-bandung-tolak-kegiatan-politik-di-may-day-2018.

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