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Thousands of workers besiege Banten governor's office, demand wage rise

Viva - January 5, 2022

Thousands of workers and students again besieged the Banten governor's office on the afternoon of Wednesday January 5 demanding revisions to the 2020 municipal minimum wage (UMK) so that it rises by 5.4 percent.

The workers and students, who arrived at the Banten central administration complex (KP3B) at around 12 noon, took turns in giving speeches from atop of the command vehicle.

Out of the three gates into the Banten governor's office, two were closed by police leaving only one gate for people to enter and leave.

But the workers and students succeeded in breaking through the razor wire in front of the two gates by pulling it away using wood and old banners. The protesters then trampled on it.

"Today our protesters have gathered at all sides (of the KP3B), we have involved all workers from several cities and regencies in Banten", said Banten National Trade Union (SPN) regional leadership board chairperson Intan Indriya Dewi at the location of the action on Wednesday.

Aside from demanding that Banten Governor Wahidin Halim increase the 2022 UMK by 5.4 percent, the protesters also demanding an end to the criminalisation of workers and students, free education and for the release of works who were declared suspects by police.

According to Dewi, the earlier incident in which Governor Halim's personal office was besieged by workers on December 22 last year was a spontaneous action.

"That day we had only just received information that those who would meet with workers were Asda 1 [Administrative Assistant] and Asda 2 [Economics and Development Assistant], as well as the acting Sekda [Regional Secretary]. It was planed that as many as 20 would come into the meeting", said Dewi.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Ribuan Buruh Kepung Kantor Gubernur Banten, Tuntut UMK Naik".]

Source: https://www.viva.co.id/berita/nasional/1438045-ribuan-buruh-kepung-kantor-gubernur-banten-tuntut-umk-nai