Laborers, Journalists Fight for Fairer Wage

Monday, 02 May 2016 , 12:20:00 WIB - Social

Thousands of laborers from many organizations commemorated the International Laborers Day at Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium, Senayan, Jakarta, Sunday (1/5). In the event, the laborers asked the government to pay more attention to their prosperity. (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS - The commemoration of the International Laborers Day known as May Day on May 1, 2016, went festive and secure. The laborers are fighting against the wage formula implemented in the Governmental Regulation (PP) No.78/2015 for fairer wage system. They considered that the regulation has violated the principles of the 1945 Constitution and Article 4 Law No.13/2003 on Manpower.

The Governmental Regulation (PP) regulates regular wage raise for every five years by eliminating the regional productivity and economic growth elements. The government replaces it with the national productivity and economy growth by estimating the economic growth and the inflation at a certain time. The regulation was issued by the government referring to the Economy Package Phase IV that focuses on manpower by encouraging a fair, simple, and projected wage system.

"Laborers movement against the wage formula shouldn't happen if the government include laborers representatives that could represent them," said the House's Commission IX member, Irma Chaniango, in a message received by, Friday (29/4).

The Manpower Minister has issued seven Manpower Minister Regulations on minimum wage formula, Province/Regency Minimum Wage (UMP/UMK), Sectoral Minimum Wage (UMS), minimum wage scales, religious holiday allowance (THR), service charge, Standard Living Cost Index (KHL) to support the Governmental Regulation. The House's Commission IX has also summoned the Manpower Minister and some labor unions who are against the regulation to hold a public hearing. So, the government would know why the laborers are against the regulation.

According to laborers, they feel unfortunate with the lack of laborers involvement in the arrangement of the regulation.

The difference between the laborers and the government in arranging the wage formula in the Governmental Regulation No.78 is on the use of variables in the wage formula. The government uses the national inflation rate as one of the variables in the wage formula. Meanwhile, laborers want the different economic growth in different regions to be used as a variable to arrange the wage formula.

JOURNALISTS WAGE - Not only laborers but also journalists are fighting for a fairer wage system. Journalists of the Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) Jakarta has also estimated the reasonable wage for them in 2016, which is worth Rp7,540,000. AJI Jakarta considered that the reasonable wage would increase journalism quality, and the public would receive more worthy information.

The estimation came up after AJI Jakarta surveyed the prices of journalists' needs in Jakarta and the needs that has to be owned by journalists to work professionally. "Journalists have special needs, such as subscribing newspaper, modem, and computer. This made the reasonable wage for journalists higher than the UMP," said the Chairman of AJI Jakarta, Ahmad Nurhasim, in a written statement to, Saturday (30/4) evening.

AJI hopes that the salary applies for reporters in their first year of employment. AJI Jakarta asserted that journalists' prosperity is important. When journalists are prosperous enough, journalism products would be more qualified and could educate the society.

Besides the reasonable wage, media companies should provide work safety insurance, health insurance, and social security insurance for journalists and their families. This includes the rights of women journalists, such as lactation room, menstruation leave, and maternity leave. "AJI Jakarta still finds that some companies fired journalists when they got pregnant," he said.

He mentioned the current journalists salary worth about Rp3-4 million per month in average. Only a bit different with the Jakarta Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP) worth Rp3.1 million.

Besides that, AJI Jakarta also said firmly that it's essential to unite to fight for a fairer wage. To unite in an association is the human rights protected by the Constitution and Law on Workers Union No.21/2000.

A Coordinator of Workers Union Division, Guruh Dwi Riyanto, said that journalists work under a high risk and prone to criminal acts. To unite in an association and organize, journalists have a "wall" to protect them, strengthen their bargaining power, and they can fight for their interests. (Agus Irawan)