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Thousands of workers plan anti-Tapera march to Palace on June 6

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Tempo.Co, Jakarta – Said Iqbal, president of the Indonesian Confederation of Trade Unions (KSPI), said thousands of workers would demonstrate in front of the palace on Thursday, June 6. They plan to protest the government's mandatory premiums for the public housing savings or Tapera program.

According to Said Iqbal, thousands of workers from Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi will join the rally. They come from various trade union organizations including the KSPI, the Confederation of All Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPSI), the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KPBI), as well as the Indonesian Peasants' Union (SPI) and the women's organization PERCAYA.

"The action will begin at 10:00 a.m., when we will gather in front of City Hall and then march to the Palace via the Horse Statue area," the Labor Party president told Tempo in a written statement on Tuesday, June 4.

According to Said Iqbal, the Tapera policy is disadvantageous and overburdens workers with deductions. He said that even after 10 to 20 years of paying the contributions, workers are still not guaranteed to own a house. Moreover, through Tapera, the government is seen as abandoning its responsibility to provide housing. He said the government only acted as a collector of contributions instead of allocating funds from the state or regional budget.

"Another problem is that Tapera funds are prone to corruption and the disbursement of the funds is unclear and full of complexities," he said.

Apart from the action to reject the Tapera, Iqbal said that the workers' march will also be used to raise other issues such as the expensive single tuition fees (UKT), the rejection of KRIS BPJS Health, the rejection of the Omnibus Job Creation Act and the demand to eliminate outsourcing and cheap wages (HOSTUM).

According to Iqbal, education, which should be a pathway to a better life, is currently a burden due to expensive tuition fees. As a result, workers' children are finding it increasingly difficult to pursue their dreams of higher education as costs continue to rise.

With regard to the KRIS (Standard Inpatient Rooms), workers believe that this policy will actually reduce the quality of health services and further deteriorate services in hospitals that are already overcrowded. The workers are calling on the government to reconsider this policy and ensure fair and decent health services for all.

The workers will also express their rejection of the Omnibus Job Creation Act in Thursday's action. Iqbal said that the policy, which claims to promote investment, is a symbol of injustice that legalizes exploitation, as labor flexibility through increasingly liberalized contracts and outsourcing only makes it easier for employers to treat workers as mere means of production, not as human beings with rights and dignity.

The Job Creation Law also results in low wages, low severance pay, easy dismissals, flexible working hours and the disappearance of several witnesses in criminal cases. "In the June 6 action, workers will also demand the abolition of outsourcing and the rejection of low wages (HOSTUM)," he continued.

Iqbal said that the outsourcing system, which does not provide job security and wages that are far from adequate, has put workers in increasingly difficult conditions.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1875716/thousands-of-workers-plan-anti-tapera-march-to-palace-on-june-