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Students in Surabaya enliven May Day worker demonstration

Tempo Interactive - May 1, 2010

Rohman Taufiq, Surabaya Ė Students in the Central Java provincial capital of Surabaya enlivened a protest action when they joined workers commemorating May Day on Saturday May 1 in front of the State Grahadi building.

The students came from a number of different organisations including the 10 November Institute of Technology Student Executive Council (BEM), the Surabaya Indonesian National Student Movement (GMNI) Surabaya and the Surabaya National Student Front (FMN).

In addition to bringing flags, banners and posters, the student also took turns in giving speeches. "All of the complexities of labour problems are because the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono has never sided with workers", said action coordinator Muh Affan. Because of this therefore, they should both resign.

Workers also gave speeches. The coordinator of the East Java Workers Challenge Alliance (ABM-JT), Jamaluddin, called on the government to immediately implement the mandate of Law Number 40/2004 on Social Security Systems. "Without social security, the very low wages will make workers suffer more," he said.

Jamaluddin also called on the government to immediately abolish contract labour systems, which violate the law, and for the government to strengthen labour supervision.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]

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