Yayus Yuswoprihanto/LM & FW, Jakarta – 500 workers from Gaspermindo (Indonesian Independent Workers Combined Union) rallied in front of the House of Reperesentatives building today, demanding sweeping improvements in the wages and conditions of workers.
Led by M. Jumhur Hidayat, the protesters first gathered at the East Parking Lot of the Parliament complex at 8am. At around 10.15am, the workers started to march to the House. Thus far, Detik can not confirm which parliamentary commission or what faction of the House they intend to meet.
The workers listed their demands on a five by ten meter banner. There were seven points including decreasing the price of goods, providing employement for Indonesia's estimated 40 million people, abolishing all forms of retrencment and a rise in labourers' wages.
The demonstrators marched wearing black headbands with "Gaspermindo" printed written on it. Meanwhile, the protest leader, Jumhur, wore a ceremonial outfit and headband at the front of the procession. Jumhur is well known as a close associate of former Minister of Cooperatives and Small-medium Enterprises, Adi Sasono and represented him in Cides (Centre for Information and Development Studies, an NGO).
He boldly encouraged his "followers" to voice their demands. The protesters seemed to be workers from various companies and street musicians, many wore blues shirts and t-shirts, the colour of the Union.