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Dita Sari: Kalla-Win presidential ticket connects with workers

Kompas.com - June 6, 2009

Caroline Damanik, Jakarta – Labour activist Dita Indah Sari believes that presidential and vice presidential candidates Jusuf Kalla and Wiranto (JK-Win) are the partnership that most connects with workers. It is because of this that workers and youths who have joined the Courageous Volunteers for Resurrecting Self-Sufficiency (Relawan Berani Bangkit Mandiri, Relawan BBM) and are ready to support the pair's victory in the coming presidential elections.

"We feel compatible with their [idea of] economic self-sufficiency. To the degree that their concepts very much connect [with us]", said Sari prior to the declaration of Relawan BBM at the Panti Trisula Perwari Building in Menteng, Central Jakarta on Saturday June 6, which was attended by Jusuf Kalla.

The concept of economic self-sufficiency being offered by the JK-Win ticket, according to Dita, satisfies the points that up until now have been longed for by workers, including among other those related to the JK-Win program to protect domestic industry and to introduce outsourcing and contract labour systems that truly side with workers.

In addition to this, Sari believes that Kalla is the type of leader who is prepared to take a stand, does not get caught up in communication formalities with the people and is quick to act. "[They] suit us. We are tired, right, with leaders that are so often pragmatic and [only] talk about general issues", said Sari.

Another element of Kalla's leadership that Sari considers to be positive is the practical solutions that are often offered by Kalla to respond to the ordinary people's problems related to the economy. Kalla's background as a businessperson is not a problem for Sari.

"What's important is the system. Although he is from business circles, he has a good system. How he oversees the system to regulate himself as a government official and a businessperson. [Even] if there conflict of interests, right, this could arise in any kind of profession", said Sari.

During the declaration today, workers will present a political contract to JK-Win, covering guarantees of protection to domestic industry, improvements to outsourcing systems and contract labour, along with a commitment to develop political communication that is egalitarian and open to the people.

Relawan BBM will be declared in 25 cities including Solo, Semarang, Banten Tangerang and Yogyakarta. As the coordinator of Relawan BBM, Sari is positive that workers throughout the archipelago will be able to be brought in to support a JK-Win victory.

[Translated by James Balowski.]