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May Day rally in Yogyakarta highlights low wages, poverty

Detik News - May 1, 2017

Edzan Raharjo, Yogyakarta – International Labour Day or May Day was commemorated by a number of different groups with rallies in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta. The main location for the protests was the Jl. Malioboro shopping district and the zero kilometre point in front of the central post office.

Hundreds of labour activist from the Yogyakarta Labour Alliance (ABY) held an action along the length of Jl. Malioboro on Monday May 1. Riding motorcycles and taking up one lane they were accompanied by a police escort. Along the route they stopped at the Yogyakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD DIY) on Jl. Malioboro to give speeches.

The ABY highlighted low wages in Yogyakarta which is one of the reasons for the high levels of poverty in the province, poverty that is made worse by high levels of economic disparity.

ABY secretary general Kirnadi said that workers in Yogyakarta are faced with the reality that they are unable to afford to own their own homes due to the low wages they receive.

"With such low wages, the right to own a home for workers is little more than a daydream. Workers are faced with the reality of being homeless", said Kirnadi.

The 2017 minimum regional wage (UMK) in the four regencies and one municipality that make up Yogyakarta Special Province (DIY) are varied. For Yogyakarta city the 2017 UMK is 1,572,200 rupiah a month, for Sleman regency it is 1,448,385, Bantul 1,404,760, Kulon Progo 1,373,600 and for Gunungkidul 1,337,650.

During the action, they also called for the abolition of outsourcing and apprenticeships, improvements to social security, rejected revisions to Law Number 13, 2013 on Labour which would abolish severance pay, demanded that the Yogyakarta governor use Government Regulation 78/2015 on wages a guideline for wage policy and called for the application of policies on sectoral wages.

After giving speeches in front of the DPRD DIY, the workers drove to the nearby northern square were they continued the rally with a pemotongan tumpeng [the cutting of traditional yellow rice cones] cultural action. (sip/sip)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was "Ribuan Buruh Yogya Peringati May Day dengan Bermotor di Malioboro".]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita-jawa-tengah/d-3488402/ribuan-buruh-yogya-peringati-may-day-dengan-bermotor-di-malioboro.

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