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Informal workers in Yogyakarta demand basic rights, social security

Tempo - May 1, 2016

Shinta Maharani, Yogyakarta – Hundreds of informal sector workers from the Yogyakarta People's and Worker Alliance (ARPY) called for the protection to ensure the rights of home-based and domestic workers and the fulfillment social guarantees by the Social Security Management Agency (BPJS).

The demonstrators who marched from the Abu Bakar Ali parking area in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta to the zero kilometre point were commemorating International Labour Day or May Day.

Yuli Maheni, a speaker from the Domestic Workers Trade Union (SPRT), calculated that that there are currently 10.7 million domestic workers who lack any kind of protection. They have no social security and face physical, psychological and sexual violence.

Meanwhile the Draft Law on the Protection of Domestic Workers that was submitted to the House of Representatives in 2004 has still not been ratified. "We call for the law to be ratified immediately for the sake of the protection of domestic workers", said Yuli on Sunday May 1.

In addition to asking for improvements to the welfare of domestic workers, the protesters also called for protection for home-based workers. In Yogyakarta, many home-based workers are employed in small- and medium-scale industries, including handicrafts.

They work at home without any kind of written contract, have no bargaining power, receive wages well below the provincial minimum wage. In addition to this, they have no work safety guarantees or social security such as BPJS.

This kind of situation is faced by women workers who carry loads in baskets or shawls on their backs (buruh gendong) at the Beringharjo and Giwangan markets in Yogyakarta. They are not recognised as formal workers by the government yet they carry a heavy work load.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Buruh Informal Tuntut Perlindungan Hak dan Jaminan BPJS.]

Source: https://m.tempo.co/read/news/2016/05/01/058767566/buruh-informal-tuntut-perlindungan-hak-dan-jaminan-bpjs.

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