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Tangerang workers take 'blood sucking octopus' to State Palace
Liputan6 - May 1, 2014
The Octopus effigy wore a red hat with a white star. On the hat was a poster with the message "The tentacles of capitalism, blood sucker of the working class".
"This symbol rejects outsourcing. The octopus will be carried during the protest action, and then set alight", said Sunarno, a representative of the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance (KASBI) in the Tangerang city Batu Ceper warehousing complex on Thursday May 1.
Sunarno said that the workers will ride a convoy of 20 buses from Tangerang to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta, then march to the nearby State Palace. Others would arrive by motorcycle.
"There are around 5 thousand workers. Not just from Tangerang city, but also from Tangerang regency and South Tangerang city", said Sunarno.
The workers are demanding the reestablishment of the Jamsostek Social Security Program because the recently introduced Social Security Management Agency (BPJS) healthcare and labour program is ridden with manipulation.
"When we were still covered by Jamsostek, the cost of medical treatment was free. There was no burden of buying medicines or other things", said Suwarso, the coordinator of the 1992 All Indonesia Trade Union (SBSI 92) for the Tangerang area.
"Now, only the treatment is free. We bear the cost of medicines", he said. Suwarso said that they are demanding that the BPJS be evaluated and Jamsostek reinstated.
The workers will also give speeches rejecting electricity tariff increases that will not just create difficulties for employers but will also be the trigger for mass dismissals. "That's already automatic. We explicitly reject it", asserted Suwarso. (Shinta NM Sinaga)
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]
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