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100 thousand workers in Jakarta descend on State Palace for May Day

Republika - May 1, 2012

Jakarta Ė As many as 100,000 workers from an alliance of trade unions held May Day action in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Tuesday May 1 demanding welfare for the working class.

The protesters came from the All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI), the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), the Confederation of Prosperity Labor Unions (KSBSI), the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI), the National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (JALA PRT), the Indonesian Association of Trade Unions (ASPEK) and the Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI).

The protesters, who packed the area north of the National Monument in front of the State Palace, demanded that the government pay serious attention to workers' welfare, including establishing life-long universal healthcare insurance by January 1, 2014 (including for assistant, honorary and contract teachers) and establishing a compulsory pension insurance shame for workers by July 1, 2015.

They also demanded that the reasonable living cost index (KHL) be raised through a revision to Department of Labour and Transmigration Regulation Number 17/2005 on KHL. In addition to this they called for the abolition of outsourcing systems (contract labour), providing subsidies to workers and their families through state and regional budgets (housing, education, healthcare and transportation subsidies) and for May 1 to be made into a national holiday.

At 1pm the protesters disbanded and moved off to the Bung Karno Sports Stadium after giving speeches for around one-and-a-half hours. The protest action proceeded in an orderly manner without any disturbances. As of filing this story, traffic was still being redirected since a number of demonstrators were still in the vicinity of the State Palace.

[Massa Buruh Tuntut Kesejahtaraan di Depan Istana - Republika.co. Selasa, 01 Mei 2012. Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]

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