Indonesian Unions Mobilise Over Minimum Wages, Layoffs and Labour Laws

Indonesia’s main trade union centres KSBSI, KSPI and KSPSI have launched a national campaign over minimum wages and labour laws with a 25,000-strong demonstration of workers in Jakarta.

The unions are calling for a minimum wage increase of 25% for 2016, and have rejected a government proposal to handle minimum wage adjustments through an automatic calculation without negotiation. Many workers in Indonesia are unable to make ends meet with high inflation, and with tens of thousands of workers already laid off this year, the unions are also demanding that the government act to help ensure job security.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said, “With Indonesia’s working people feeling enormous economic pressure and facing growing threats to their jobs, the government needs to ensure a living minimum wage and act to halt the devastating job losses which are sending families into penury. The government needs to stand up to foreign investors which are seeking to use the slide in the value of the Rupiah as an excuse to keep wages at unacceptably low levels, cut jobs and diminish already weak labour laws. The trade unions have concrete and constructive proposals which would help restore economic stability, and the government must be willing to negotiate on these with the unions.”

The union centres are also campaigning jointly for protection for domestic and migrant workers through ratification of ILO Conventions, and for an end to the criminalisation of workers and trade union leaders for engaging in legitimate industrial action.