Category Archives: Strike

Connection Between This Week’s Strike & Presidential Race?

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

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Initial Gov’t Response To This Week’s Strikes

From Reuters:

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.

Al Jazeera Has Video From Today’s Demos

To see their report, go here.

(For some reason, I was unable to embed the video. No doubt, a user error on my end)

Protests Smaller Than Expected?

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.

One Day General Strike In Effect

“Factory workers take part in a protest in Cikarang, West Java, Indonesia, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Indonesian unions said more than 2 million factory workers have gone on a one-day strike across the country to call for higher wages and protest the hiring of contract workers.” (AP Photo)

From The Associated Press:

More than 2 million factory workers went on a one-day strike across Indonesia on Wednesday to demand better benefits and protest the hiring of contract workers, union officials said.

Hundreds of thousands of laborers from more than 700 companies in 80 industrial estates also took to the streets to demonstrate, national police spokesman Col. Agus Rianto said.

About 200,000 workers marched in the industrial city of Bekasi, just outside Jakarta, while waving flags and chanting “Workers unite! We can’t be defeated!”

The workers want an increase in the minimum wage, health insurance and social security for all employees and a revision of government policies that allow companies to hire temporary workers without benefits, said Yoris Raweyai, chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers’ Union

KSPI Plans Massive Strikes in September

From Tempo:

The Indonesia Confederation Union of Workers (KSPI) plans to strike simultaneously in 14 cities this September.

“Our target is for a million workers to strike simultaneously,” said KSPI president, Said Iqbal on Saturday.

The strike, said Iqbal, would demand three things. First, repeal the rules on outsourcing. “All workers should have direct contract with a company,” said Iqbal.

In addition, the demonstration will also seek the inclusion of 86 components of Decent Living Needs (KHL) in determining minimum wages. Finally, the mass strike will demand that the health insurance premiums of 5 percent of employee salaries be taken over and paid by the company.

Iqbal is convinced that the target of 1 million workers will be achieved. “Yesterday we were successful in mobilizing 300,000 workers for the strike in Bekasi,” said the employee of PT Panasonic. He is also optimistic the three demands will be granted by the government.

Iqbal explained that the strike this September would be conducted in two stages.

First, he said, the strike will cripple Indonesia’s economy. “At this stage, all the ambassadors of foreign countries and foreign investors will protest,” said Iqbal. If it is not successful, the workers will occupy 12 points on a toll road to obstruct the flow of transportation.

The election momentum to strike in September, said Iqbal, would put pressure on the government to grant minimum wages and better conditions for workers.

The strike by the 1 million workers is planned to be conducted in 14 industrial cities: Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Jakarta, Karawang, Purwakarta, Cimahi, Bandung, Batam, Medan, Semarang, Surabaya, Mojokerto and Pasuruan.

E-Action: Support Paper Workers Union of PT. Pindo Deli

You can sign a petition supporting striking paper workers of Serikat Pekerja Kertas Pindo Deli (SPK PD) in West Java by going here.

Paper Workers Union of PT. Pindo Deli (SPK PD) decided to hold second strike commencing on June 4, 2012 at 00. 00 am that will last for 14 days. This decision taken after a deadlock on wage negotiation held after the first strike. The Management of PT. Pindo Deli failed to positively respond the workers union’s (SPK PD) demand to raise the wages of workers based on the working appraisal /performance or commonly known as End-Year Assessment. The response of the management is a denial on the commitment they made when the workers held first strike on May 7 – 8th 2012.

PT Pindo Deli, a paper company with world-class production capacities, is a subsidiary of Sinar Mas Group and has become a very important part of Asian Pulp & Paper (APP) companies. As the major-class exporter for the American, Europe and Asian countries markets, this company employs not less than 13.000 workers.

The strike again is the last choice decided by the union when the door of negotiation has been closed or met dead lock. The company has neglected the demand submitted by the union to raise the workers wages by 18%, comprising of the wage increase due to the deviation of raise on the Regional Minimum Wages 2012 of Karawang District and raise upon the workers’ working appraisal. This formula of wage proposed by the union has become important aspect since the company has never given rewards or recognition to workers who had been serving for years. The current applicable system only allows wage raise of 16,000 rupiahs (2 US $) per year for workers who have been working for more than 20 years.