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Mei '07

Jakarta Braces For May Day Rally

Thousands of workers are expected to join several massive rallies across the capital to mark International Labor Day and to protest work contract systems, an amendment to a 2003 labor law and a severance pay scheme that does not compensate workers enough.

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Adang Firman said Monday that 13 labor unions with memberships of close to 30,000 people had sought permission to hold rallies for May Day.

Workers would gather in a number of spots, including the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, the State Palace, the House of Representatives building and City Hall, Adang was quoted by Antara as saying.

Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso and chief of Jakarta Military Command Maj. Gen. Liliek Soemardjono held a meeting Monday with Adang and union leaders to discuss efforts to make the planned rally peaceful.

In the meeting, Sutiyoso called on leaders of the unions to exercise constraint during the rally so there would be no repeat of last year’s May Day, when workers went on a rampage. They destroyed plants along the Sudirman thoroughfare and damaged Transjakarta buses.

It was agreed in the meeting workers taking part in the May Day rally would dress in uniforms provided by their respective companies.

The police force is expected to deploy 20,000 personnel during the rally.

Police will be concentrated in places where protesters are expected to assemble.

One of the labor unions, Alliance of Incriminating Workers, said it would dispatch more than 20,000 workers to take part in the May Day rally.

Coordinator of the alliance Anwar Sastro Ma’ruf said in a statement workers who take part in the demonstrations will come from companies based in Jakarta’s outskirts, including Cikarang, Tangerang, Bekasi and Bogor.

Anwar confirmed workers would protest the existing contract system, an amendment to a 2003 labor law and their severance pay scheme.

He also promised the demonstration from his group would proceed peacefully.

Another labor organization, the National Labor Union (SPN), said it would send more than 15,000 workers to take part in the rally.

Members of SPN are expected to stage their demonstrations at City Hall, the Jakarta council building and the Jakarta Labor Agency.

In a statement sent to The Jakarta Post, the central board of the Confederation of Indonesian Prosperous Labor Unions (KSBSI) called on the government to recognize May 1 as a national labor day and to make it a public holiday.

“The majority of countries around the world as well as countries in ASEAN have officially recognized May 1 as Labor Day,” the statement said.

“But Indonesia is yet to do this.”

With the government’s refusal to name May 1 as national labor day, KSBSI called on workers to voluntarily skip work.

“Workers, however, should observe Labor Day peacefully,” chairman of KSBSI central board Rekson Silaban said.

Sumber : (njpost/JAK09) JakNews.Com

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