From United Students Against Sweatshops: Go here for more information on the PT Kizone campaign.
While I will need a lot more evidence before I am convinced of the connection, The Wall Street Journal wonders aloud whether labor unrest like this week’s strike wave will play a role in the presidential race.
The current protests are supported by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, the party of Ms. Sukarnoputri, who is seen as a contender in the 2014 presidential election. The eldest daughter of founding President Sukarno, Ms. Sukarnoputri attempted to make labor issues a part of her 2009 presidential bid; she could fare better this time in a time of perceived rising social inequality
Indonesia said on Thursday it would improve worker pay and restrict the use of temporary contracts in the face of a vow by union leaders, who staged a national strike this week, to press ahead with industrial action.
Chief Economics Minister Hatta Rajasa said the government would draft a regulation to increase worker pay and would quickly implement rules to improve conditions for workers not on fixed contracts. He gave no details of the pay increase.
To see their report, go here.
(For some reason, I was unable to embed the video. No doubt, a user error on my end)
The Jakarta Post is reporting that protests today are significantly smaller than original predictions, finding only a thousand workers at one of the protest locations. We can probably expect some wrangling in the press about what accurate estimates should be.
There is also the question of how you are keeping count. Demonstrations are scheduled in a decentralized manner, with protests occurring throughout the Jakarta area, so any official count will be difficult. There is also the issue of whether we should be counting workers at the demonstrations or simply workers who are not at work. Given reports of organizing going from workplace to workplace demanding workers walk off the job, there might be reason to think that the disruption of production is greater than the size of the crowds at demonstrations suggests.
Thousands of members from various labor unions join a rally along Jalan M. H. Thamrin in Central Jakarta on Thursday to urge the government to improve wages and review its outsourcing policy. (Antara Photo/Ujang Zaelani)
From The Jakarta Post:
Massive labor protests involving tens of thousands of workers paralyzed parts of Jakarta on Thursday as demonstrators demanded a higher minimum wage and an end to unfair labor practices.
Thousands of protestors gathered at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout before marching to Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta, choking traffic along Sudirman and Thamrin avenues, as well as Jalan Abdul Muis, Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat and Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara.
Other workers protested in front of the legislative complex, the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, the Attorney General’s Office and the Health Ministry, forcing officials to detour traffic.
Below is a video report from the Indonesia television station RCTI on Occupy Jakarta (in Indonesian):
Below is a slide show with graphics from Occupy Jakarta, mostly taken from their facebook page. I will be adding to the slide show as posters & other graphics are published. If you know of more, please send them along.
[Update, Oct 20]: A number of the posters above have been created by Nobodycorp. Internationale Unlimited. You can see their facebook page here.
As the Occupy Wall Street protests go global, I am still waiting to read much about spillover into Indonesia. However, there is an Occupy Jakarta twitter page. If anyone has more information on potential “occupy” actions, please pass them along, I would be happy to post about them.