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Workers clash with police at Jakarta airport

Detik.com - May 1, 2011

Dira Derby, Jakarta Ė A clash broke out between workers and police at the rear entrance to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Sunday when police refused to allow protesting from the Indonesian People's Opposition Front (FORI) from entering the airport.

Wearing red uniforms and carrying flags, banners, posters and megaphones, the workers gave speeches along the length of the road leading to the airport. Despite being blocked by police the demonstrators were determined to continue the demonstration inside the airport.

When the workers came face-to-face with the police blockade a clash broke out with demonstrators and police pushing and shoving each other and the two sides coming to blows. The scuffle did not last long however and protest leaders and the police were eventually able to calm the protesters down.

In speeches the workers demanding that the government abolish contract labour systems or outsourcing, which they said means that workers have no job security.

"Contract workers are very vulnerable to intimidation or even dismissals when there are problems with the company or wish to be involved in a trade union. So we will besiege and occupy the Soekarno-Hatta airport", said Rendra, one of the workers.

As of 2pm the protest action was still continuing resulting in severe traffic congestion at the M1 toll road gate in the direction of Tangerang city. (gah/gah)

[Abridged translation by James Balowski.]

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