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Jakarta Braces Itself To Grind To A Halt For Metal Workers' Rally
Source: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130116-395859.html
Source Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Indonesia
Created: Jan 15, 2013

Motorists will likely face gridlock on Central Jakarta's main thoroughfares on Wednesday afternoon, when an estimated 3,000 metal workers take to the streets to protest electricity increases and minimum wage delays.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Tuesday that they would deploy 9,000 officers, including Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel and officials from the Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), to maintain security while the workers rally at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan and the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry on Jl. Gatot Subroto.

Jl. MH Thamrin and Jl. Jenderal Sudirman are likely to also be affected.

"We will not only escort the workers, but we will also safeguard the city's main streets and places, such as the National Monument, the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and the Presidential Palace," Rikwanto told reporters on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Union (KSPI), Said Iqbal, said on Tuesday that the workers would gather at the Jakarta Police headquarters at 9:30 a.m. before marching on to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry at around 1 p.m.

Workers will come from various unions including the KSPI, the Confederation of All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) and Indonesian Metal Workers Federations (FSPMI), he said.

"We will call on the ministry to not increase the electricity rate because it will harm the workers' buying power," Said told The Jakarta Post.

He said that the workers would continue their rally on to the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry at 3 p.m, to urge it to cancel its decision that has granted a number of labour-intensive companies in Greater Jakarta a delay in the implementation of wage increases.

"A total of 46 labour-intensive companies in Jakarta already have approval from the ministry to delay the wage increase, which means they won't have to pay the workers based on 2013 provincial minimum wages until next year," he said.

Said said the ministry could only grant such an approval to companies that had undergone an audit by public accountants, which determined that they had suffered losses for the past two years, and those that had reached an agreement with their workers to delay wage increases.

The Jakarta administration decided late last year to raise the provincial minimum wage by 44 per cent to Rp 2.2 million (S$50,000) in 2013. The Bekasi administration has also decided to raise the monthly minimum wage from Rp 1.47 million to Rp 2.1 million, while Bogor regency increased its wage from Rp 1.26 million to Rp 2 million.

In December last year, tens of thousands of workers rallied at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, in front of several embassies and before the Presidential Palace, demanding the outsourcing system be scrapped and minimum wage be increased. The protest resulted in severe traffic congestion around Central and South Jakarta.
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