of the country’s largest labor unions rejected on Monday the government’s
“inconsequential” proposed revisions to the Reasonable Living Cost Index (KHL),
and threatened to hold mass protests on July 12 if it isn’t resolved.
KHL, on which the minimum wage is based on, considers 46 components of living
costs, including rice and other basic needs.
The Confederation of Indonesian Labor Unions (KSPI), in a
written statement, said that it rejected the four components to be added to the
list — socks, belt, clothing iron and deodorants.
“The addition of the four items will only result in an addition of Rp
15,000 to Rp 20,000 per month [$1.50-$2],” the statement said.
KSPI also said the survey carried out by the Ministry of
Manpower and Transmigration to determine this only covered 3,000 of the
country’s 30 million formal workers and excluded industrial areas such as
Batam, Tangerang and Bekasi.
“This means that for industry intensive areas such as Bekasi
and Tangerang, next year’s wages will effectively get no increase,” KSPI
The existing 46 components in the KHL already failed
to reflect actual needs since even single workers have to borrow money to meet
their daily needs, the statement added.
“We demand the Coordinating Ministry for
the Economy and the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry to revise Ministerial Regulation
No. 17 of 2005, so that the 46 components are increased to 86 to 122
components,” the statement said.
KSPI said workers in Indonesia, with a gross domestic product of Rp 6,000
trillion in 2011 and a $3,600 per capita income, were only paid $120 per month,
much lower than the $250 in the Philippines, $350 in Malaysia, $450 in
Singapore and $500 in Brunei.
The union also called on the Manpower and Transmigration
Ministry to come out with the revision in July in line with the promises made
at the House of Representatives.
It said that along with other labor federations
and confederations, KSPI plans to hold a “national action” on July 12
to push for the revision.
It said the action would involve some 70,000
workers and would be held at the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, the Presidential
Palace and the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration.
“It will also be held simultaneously in 15
provinces across Indonesia,” the statement said.