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Prabowo warns workers not to demand big wage hikes or companies will leave

CNBC Indonesia - November 8, 2023

Verda Nano Setiawan, Jakarta – Presidential candidate and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has spoken out on the government's policy direction related to workers wages in the country. Prabowo has warned workers not to put pressure on employers by demanding big wage hikes.

Discussions on determining the minimum wage are currently being held to determine the size of wage increases in 2024.

"We'll talk to labour leaders. [The government is] already subsidising fuel, electricity, schools, then we will give them lunch, and transportation in big cities, if necessary we'll subsidize it by 100 percent. For people who need it", said Prabowo at an Indonesian Economy 100 Forum organised by the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) and CNBC Indonesia on Wednesday November 11.

"Because our fuel comes from within the country. So we're helping employers and workers. 'To workers, all workers, we'll make transportation free in order to your lighten work. So don't make demands on employers, later they'll move'. We're talking to labour leaders. Don't strangle [employers]", he stressed.

"If employers are pressured, it's very easy for them to move to Cambodia, Bangladesh", cried Prabowo.

Meanwhile a number of labour groups and trade unions have presented demands for a 15 percent increase in the minimum wage in 2024.

Labour Party Infocom and Propaganda Division head Kahar S. Cahyono stressed that there are several reasons why workers are insisting on demanding a 15 percent wage rise in 2024.

First, based on the results of a Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) and Labour Party Research and Development Team survey, the reasonable living cost index (KHL) has risen by an average of 10-20 percent.

Second, the government will soon announce an increase in wages for civil servants (PSN) of as much as 8 percent and 12 percent for pension funds.

"We agree with this, but at the same time we are also asking that workers' wages be increased by as much as 15 percent", said Cahyono. (dce/dce)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Prabowo Beri Peringatan Keras Soal Upah kepada Buruh".]

Source: https://www.cnbcindonesia.com/news/20231108121043-4-487347/prabowo-beri-peringatan-keras-soal-upah-kepada-buru