Indonesian workers strike against new pay regulations

Indonesian workers strike against new pay regulations

A worker stands on scaffolding at the site of a new highway under construction in east Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov 4, 2015. (Reuters photo)
A worker stands on scaffolding at the site of a new highway under construction in east Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov 4, 2015. (Reuters photo)

JAKARTA — Thousands of Indonesian workers rallied in several cities on Tuesday to demand the government repeal a new rule that they say limits pay increases.

Labour unions say the rule only allows a maximum 10% increase per year in monthly salaries and puts them in a weak position in negotiations with employers.

"We decided to go on strike because the government of Joko Widodo  has reinstated low-wage politics for the sake of attracting investors," Indonesian Labour Union Confederation chief Said Iqbal said.

Protests were held in Jakarta, the neighbouring town of Bekasi, Medan in North Sumatra and other cities, he said.

Labour unions said 5 million workers across the country would take part in the four-day strike to pressure the president to change the rule issued in October.

The government said the new pay regulation was aimed at preventing mass layoffs and providing security for businesses struggling at a time when consumer purchasing power is weak.

Annual growth slipped to 4.7% in the second quarter, the slowest pace in six years, because of weaker exports and sluggish domestic demand.


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