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Thousands of workers in Solo blockade road in front of city hall

Merdeka - May 1, 2014

Thousand of workers in the Central Java city of Solo took to the streets this morning to commemorate International Labour Day on Thursday May 1. The protesters even blockaded the main road between City Hall and the Gede market, although after negotiations with police they opened up one lane between the Gede market and the Surakarta (Solo) royal palace.

In speeches the workers demanded welfare improvements and rejected outsourcing. "We are calling for decent wages for workers' welfare. We also reject outsourcing systems. Abolish outsourcing systems right now", shouted one of the participants.

Endang Setyowati, the chairperson of the Indonesian Prosperous Labour Union 1992 (SBSI 92) Solo branch said that they also wanted to convey a message to the president. "In the name of the workers of greater Solo we convey a message to the president to restore the identity and life of the nation and state through [the state ideology of] Pancasila", he said.

The workers also demanded that the government revise the law on the Social Security Management Agency (BPJS) saying it represented the capitalisation of the state against its citizens. "The BPJS is no more then the implementation of the capitalisation of state citizens", said Setyowati.

They also called on the president to end the politics of low wages which they said was a failure by the state of its responsibility to create social justice for all the Indonesian people.

A similar action was held by thousands of workers in the Central Java regency of Sukoharjo. Prior to giving speeches at the Satya Negara square the workers organised a convey from factory to factory.

During the action they made similar demands as the workers in Solo as well as condemning companies that failed to let employees have the day off for the May Day national holiday and instead provided enticements in the form of overtime pay.

Although the rally in Solo was quite lively, it proceeded in an orderly fashion and without incident. Hundreds of officers from the tactical police unit, anti-riot police and the district police were mobilised for the event.

Source: https://id.berita.yahoo.com/may-day-ribuan-buruh-solo-blokir-jalan-depan-055338600.html.

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

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