On the 31st of October – 1st November we will again be conducting a National Strike. Our demands are: wage rise of 50 % (making the minimum wage in Jakarta Rp. 3.7 million); end the system of contract work and outsourcing; withdraw the No. 9 2013 Presidential Decree; health insurance and free education for everyone.
Today and the coming days are the days where we can be excited looking back on our lives and looking to our future. Through our struggle together, our dreams and our life hopes will be realised. We can achieve our dreams through struggle.
Life experience and our struggle teach us many things. That we cannot hope for change by relying on our current government; that change for the better cannot be hoped for from any of the current political parties that are currently busy preparing their 2014 election parties. Even in our workplaces, although there is a mountain of profit for the business owners, there is not even a drop for us, except cheap wages, just enough to keep us alive for work the next day.
Comrades in struggle,
Yesterday and today, our comrades in several cities (at least 50 cities) have begun actions to prepare for the National Strike. In Bekasi, a thousand thugs as well as the state apparatus (police and military) and the Mayor prepared to block and defeat our action of a National Strike. In other cities, capitalists that we are facing off are also receiving the backing of the government and state apparatus (police and military). We cannot allow our right for prosperity and well-being to be defeated just because we are confronted by one thousand thugs, one thousand police and military. Because of this, it is increasingly important that we continue to build up unity of the workers and oppressed and dilute the differences among us in our struggle.
In Jakarta and several other cities, the wage board and employers continue to insist that we are willing to accept low wages. In Jakarta the amount that is decided to be enough for a decent standard of living (KHL) is Rp. 2,299,860, far below our expectations. Now we are able to see whether Jakowi and Ahok STAND WITH US THE WORKERS or ON THE SIDE OF THE EMPLOYERS.
Meanwhile, in other cities, outsourced comrades that work for the state electricity network, national mining, national industries, national finance and national transport continue to consolidate their strength to carry out the fight to abolish the system of contract work and outsourcing. These comrades have joined our ranks.
All these things show that the employers and government do not want to see the people become prosperous. There is not a single political party currently that supports our struggle. Therefore, let us continue to strengthen our ranks that we have already consolidated in the Consolidation of National Workers’ Movement (KNGB) to go forward together in the NATIONAL STRIKE 31 October- 1st of November.
We should already have fair and prosperous lives. What a pity that justice and prosperity is only owned and controlled by a minority of rich people in this country. All this cannot be seen as separate from the economic system that is carried out by the current government that is clearly not devoted to the interests of the people.
Life experience and our struggle has already taught us the economic system (known as neoliberal capitalism) that is carried out by this government only benefits a few people. These few people are the capitalists, business owners, high-ranking government officials, politicians, generals and officers in the police and army, and state officials as well as of course the foreign capitalists. They live, wallowing in wealth from the hard work of the proletariat and from our taxes, from their power over the natural resources and over the energy resources that should be owned by the people and used for the prosperity of everyone.
Even that is not enough. They still collude to rob (CORRUPTION) all the assets of our country. Data from the interior ministry states that there are 3000 state officials that have been involved in corruption from 2004-2012. Even the head of the commission to eradicate corruption was brave enough to say that “if only the wealth from mining was not taken through corruption and if controlled by us and used for the welfare of the people, the lowest income in Indonesia would be Rp. 30 million per month.”
So we ought to be living more prosperously than we currently are, if only a small group of people at the top were no longer the policy makers of this country and didn’t control all the wealth and assets. We can have more prosperous and fair lives if only the economic system was one that intended to serve the people and not the capitalists.
We must acknowledge that the current government has already widely deviated from the mandate and goals of our independence. If we look at history, read the introduction and contents of the 1945 constitution, and read the writing of the freedom fighters, certainly this type of economic system was not what they struggled for. The fighters even said they opposed the economic liberal system (which is neoliberal capitalism now), because this type of economic system only results in oppression of people by other people. A tiny minority live off the oppression and exploitation of 250 million people in this country.
Therefore, we declare that our struggle will not stop at the demand for reasonable wages, an end to the system of contract work and outsourcing as well as for free healthcare and education. This is only the beginning of a struggle for our ideals to create prosperity and justice for all people. We are aware that we are facing a political force that continues to maintain power and maintain this unjust economic structure. Therefore, we cannot continue to only ask and make demands of them. Our struggle needs to form a new struggle to confront the oppressive political power. It is time we also BUILD POLITICAL UNITY of ALL WORKERS and PEOPLE of INDONESIA to make the workers and people become the authority and owners of this country. We will re-establish the economic order that was struggled for by the fighters for independence and build a just and prosperous society for all Indonesian people.
Finally, let us all, the workers and the people who dream of real change, go forward FOR THE SUCCESS of THE NATIONAL STRIKE.
Jakarta 29 October 2012
Coordinator Sekber Buruh