HUNDREDS OF WORKERS IN CILACAP REJECT FOREIGN EMPLOYEES

HUNDREDS OF WORKERS IN CILACAP REJECT FOREIGN EMPLOYEES

“No language test, no job”: Hundreds of workers in Cilacap regency, Central Java, stage a rally in front of the Cilacap regent’s office on Tuesday. They rejected the government’s policy to ease requirements, including Indonesian language proficiency tests, for foreign workers seeking jobs in Indonesia. (JP/Agus Maryono)

“No language test, no job”: Hundreds of workers in Cilacap regency, Central Java, stage a rally in front of the Cilacap regent’s office on Tuesday. They rejected the government’s policy to ease requirements, including Indonesian language proficiency tests, for foreign workers seeking jobs in Indonesia. (JP/Agus Maryono)

At the rally, they urged the government to review the policy, which included the abolition of a mandatory Indonesian language proficiency test for foreign workers, as it would only harm local workers in the country.

“All foreign workers in Indonesia must be able to speak Indonesian. Reject foreign workers in Cilacap who cannot speak Indonesian fluently,” said a protester who spoke from the top of a truck. The workers demonstrated in front of the Cilacap regent’s office, forcing Cilacap Regent Tatto S. Pamuji to take part in the rally.

Among labor unions participating in the rally were the Chemical, Energy and Mining Industries Federation of Labor Unions (FSP-KEP), the Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers Unions (FSPMI), the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (GSBI) and the Mass Labor Movement (Gemuruh). Several labor union officials from security services company Nawakara Perkasa Nusantara (PUK NPN) 911 also joined the rally.

Rally coordinator Agus Hidayat said easing foreign worker requirements would only bring suffering to local workers. “All this time, we have been miserable, with a minimum wage below the cost of basic living needs per month,” he said.

“The use of foreign workers should not violate Law No. 13/2003 on industrial relations, which will eventually close opportunities to local workers to get decent work and slow down the country’s economic growth,” said Agus.

“In Cilacap, there are hundreds of foreign workers. They are very exclusive people. They don’t want to be acquainted with us. They are living in luxurious hotels while our salaries are far from enough to cover just our basic needs,” said Darmono, 34.

He urged the government to review its policy on the minimum wage so it could cover basic needs of workers in the regency.

According to the workers, the minimum wage in Cilacap of Rp 1.2 million (US$85.2) per month was not enough to cover basic living costs.

Responding to their demands, Tatto said he would convey Cilacap workers’ aspirations to decision makers in Jakarta.

“This is because the authority to make policies on foreign workers is not in my hands as a regent. It is the authority of the central government,” Tatto said. (ebf)

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/09/01/hundreds-workers-cilacap-reject-foreign-employees.html#sthash.VaNHMtnE.dpuf

Massive Labor Protests

(Tribun/Dany Permana)
Thousands of workers started to flood the streets near the National Monument (Monas) park at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The park is expected to become the central point for a large labor demonstration.

A number of labor activists guided them to certain places to minimize their disruption to the traffic, which started to slow due to the presence of the workers on the city’s main thoroughfare, Jl. M.H Thamrin, Central Jakarta.

Hundreds of workers from Depok, West Java, gathered in Cimanggis before heading to Jakarta. Hundreds of other workers form South Tangerang, Banten, gathered in Serpong. While waiting for other workers to come, some of them have started to voice their aspiration.

The central point of their aspiration is calling on the government to take action on the economic slowdown that had already affected their purchasing power and they also feared that the continuous economic deceleration would force the factories to lay off their workers.

“We are seriously affected by the condition of the economy,” chanted one of the workers in South Tangerang on Tuesday calling on the government to have a concrete solution as quoted by Antara news agency.

Kompas.com reported that from Depok that the workers took three buses as they parked their motorcycles in Cimanggis. Depok Police chief Sr. Comr. Dwiyono said that he deployed some 500 police officers to guard the demonstration and to escort the buses from the starting point.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama prepared to welcome the workers with accommodations. “I prepared Monas park for them and City Hall. We have prepared food for them,” he was quoted by tempo.co as saying.

He said that Monas is also equipped with toilets. But chairman of the Indonesian Workers Unions Confederation Said Iqbal said that the workers would use the Hotel Indonesia (HI) roundabout for their protest.

Jakarta city police chief. Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said that the police would take tough action against the demonstrating workers if any of them violated the regulations. He also demanded that the police arrest anyone going around to the factories and forcing workers to join the demonstration, many of whom preferred to work rather than demonstrate.

“I have ordered all the police precinct heads in the city to arrest those who are forcing others to demonstrate,” he stressed. (bbn)

– See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/09/01/massive-labor-protests.html#sthash.9iU8qMQE.dpuf

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