Fuel Prices Become Focus Of Labor Protests

From The Jakarta Globe:

Indonesian labor unions have threatened to shut down public facilities if the government goes ahead with planned cuts to fuel subsidies.

“If the government continues with the fuel price hikes, labor unions across Indonesia will close down public facilities such as toll roads and airports,” the president of the Confederation of Indonesian Labor Unions, Said Iqbal, said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok port and Indonesian refineries would also shut down, Said said.

Laborers are also planning to raid trucks carrying fuel tanks, he added.

Indonesia’s labor unions plan to hold rallies across Java, including one before the House of Representatives office complex in Jakarta on March 27, Said said from the sidelines of a Wednesday rally in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.

Tens of thousands of workers from at least three labor unions held a march from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to the Presidential Palace Wednesday afternoon. Blue collar workers will be among those hit hardest by the government’s plan to raise the price of fuel from Rp 4,500 (50 cents) to Rp 6,000 per liter on April 1, Said said.

Laborers recently enjoyed a 20 percent increase in pay. It is unlikely their salaries will increase again after the fuel hikes, he added.

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