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Journalists call for decent wages, reject being 'media owners footstool'

Liputan6 - May 1, 2014

Jakarta – The commemoration of Labour Day was also used by the Jakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI). Along with other labour movement groups, the AJI took to the streets on Thursday May 1 carrying a giant replica of a shoe with the message "Journalist reject being the footstool of media owners!".

AJI member Wahyudi said that the replica shoe was a symbol of the many media employees in Jakarta that are paid a below standard monthly wage.

"Kepmenperindag [Industry and Trade Ministerial Decision] Number 121/2002 has become an issue that is very relevant in the context of transparency and a sense of justice for employees and companies", said Wahyudi at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta.

Yet he said the national spending on advertising this year increased by 20 percent to 140 trillion rupiah. The spending on political advertising on television for open campaigning between March 16 and April 5, 2014 reached 340 billion rupiah.

"Based on 2013 data, the national media has miserly in contribution these funds for the welfare of media employees. Most media [companies] in Indonesia outlay less than 30 percent of costs for their employees", said Wahyudi.

According to the AJI's calculations, a reasonable wage for new journalists in Jakarta in 2014 is 5.7 million rupiah a month. However out of the 55 media companies surveyed recently most pay new journalists who have worked for a year only around 3 million rupiah a month.

"We are appealing to media companies in particular that are paying sub-standard wages to comply with the Kepmenperindag 121/2002 as a form of transparency and responsibility to employees and the public", said Wahyudi. (Shinta NM Sinaga)

Source: http://news.liputan6.com/read/2044286/sepatu-raksasa-aji-injak-bundaran-hi.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]

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