Sat, 08 Oct 1994

Workers Union wants hike in minimum wage

JAKARTA (JP): The Jakarta branch of the All Indonesian Workers Union says it is high time for the government to raise the daily minimum wage due to the sharp increase in the cost of living.

Pos Kota quoted Salam Sumangat, the union chairman, as saying on Thursday that he wanted to see the daily minimum wage increased from the present Rp 3,800 (US$1.38) to between Rp 4,500 and Rp 5,000.

"I think it is time to increase the minimum wage due to an increase in the cost of living brought about by several factors, including inflation," said Salam, who is also chairman of the city council's Commission E on social welfare.

Salam said he would liked to see the new minimum wage implemented by January, 1995.

The present daily minimum wage still falls short of meeting the minimum daily requirements of a bachelor, which would cost around Rp 4,000.


The minimum wage for Jakarta was increased last January from Rp 3,000 to Rp 3,800, although SPSI executives contended that this was not high enough. The 26 percent raise falls short of a bachelor's minimum physical requirements of Rp 120,000 per month.

The proposed increase is within the guidelines set by the City Wage Council, which has submitted it to the governor, said Salam.

"I have heard that the governor has signed the proposal and submitted it to the central government for approval," Salam said.

Meanwhile Fauzi Ibrahim, deputy-chairman of the Jakarta branch of the workers union, said the wage hike will affect 8,000 companies which each employ at least 25 workers.

"This is our target for the wage hike," said Fauzi, who is also a member of the City Council.

Fauzi said that the proposed wage hike is not only beneficial to the workers but also to their companies.

"The hike is not only designed to increase the workers' income but is also expected to increase their productivity," Fauzi said.

Union executives said earlier that it was planning to raise wages annually based on the tenure of employees.