Still Low-wage Regime

0 – On Saturday, January 24th, 2015, the Minister of Labor, M.Hanif Dhakiri made statements about labor issues in front of employers while in Semarang. M.Hanif Dhakiri stated that the government would take a policy, on what he called “cash out door”. An expression used which refer to the expenditure required for the labor living cost. [1]

He also mentioned that the government would build one million houses to fulfill the worker’s housing needs and 10,000 house will be built for the early stages in the year of 2015.

With those statement which contained in the, confirms that the Indonesian government’s new regime, is still continuing low wage policy. Clearly stated that the government will pursue a policy of “cash out door” which means that the government will continue to maintain their policy to force the workers living under a decent standard of living.

As known that the regulation used to determined the minimum wages (UMK/UMP) based from the calculation of the sixty components price of the minimum needs of the labor living cost. Although these regulation still far from the decent living standards which made impossible for an employee to owned their own house, buying a mobile phone as a communication tool, had no chance to continuing their study, etc.

With his statement, M.Hanif Dhakiri mentioned that the government is facing two options in addressing these wages issues which is raising the wages or reduce the expenditure. And the government prefer to pursue a policy of “cash out door” or reduce the expenditure.

That means, the government stated that they could improve the welfare of the people (workers) with just built only 10,000 houses for 118.2 million formal and informal workers in Indonesia according to report of the BPS (Central Bureau of Statistics) on of February 2014! [2]

No attempt was made to improve the welfare of workers by increasing their income which supposed to be done with amended the regulation on 60 components of the minimum living needs. Or make efforts which had the most significant impact on the waging system used in Indonesia today, which is by control the prices or even reduce the prices of the life necessities through establishing the market control policies.

It’s because of the minimum wages (UMK / UMP) appointed by the Governor after received the recommendation from their regional head, as the result of the Wage Council proposal which consisting of employers’ associations, trade unions, government (Manpower) and academics based on their survey of 60 component’s prices in the market.

The statement was delivered in front of these employers also clarify the government’s attitude which is investors oriented. The policies are not balanced, which forced the workers to reduce their expenditures, which minimum already, meanwhile there was no limit for the employers to increasing their profits.

The government position emphasized the fact that there is no other option for workers to improve their welfare, besides the way of mass mobilization (organized, rallies, mass rallies, strikes, etc.), is intended to establish an independent political force to be able to fight these low wage policy consistently without misappropriation from their trade union’s elites.

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