Saturday, November 25, 2006

W. Java workers demand minimum wage hike

National News - November 23, 2006
The Jakarta Post

Some 1,000 factory workers from industrial complexes in Cimahi staged a protest outside West Java Governor Danny Setiawan's office in Bandung on Wednesday, demanding a raise in the minimum wage.

They called for a monthly paycheck of at least Rp 880,664 (US$95.72) in order to meet basic needs. Cimahi Regent Itoch Tochija has recommended a Rp 840,000 monthly wage, set to be introduced early next year.

Wednesday's was the most recent in a string of protests in the two weeks since the mayor approved the recommendation. The figure was determined after negotiations between officials, employers and workers' unions. Each province must publicly announce its decision by early December, a month before the new wage goes into effect.

"This is unfair. The regent made a quick but inhumane decision," yelled a protesting worker, Dadan.

The head of the employment office, Bambang Arie, earlier asked the workers to understand the difficult situation companies face. Texile producers have been suffering huge losses due to illegal imports.

A representative from the All-Indonesia Workers Union in Cimahi, Adang Sutisna, said they would demand that the governor postpone negotiations on the province's minimum wage until workers were fairly treated. (JP/Yuli Tri Suwarni)


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