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New organization to strengthen workers

Thousands march through capital to promote rights in May Day rallies

New organization to strengthen workers
Workers marching yesterday in Jakarta
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
Indonesia

May 2, 2012

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A new umbrella organization was unveiled yesterday to boost the bargaining power of workers as part of celebrations marking International Workers’ Day. Elsewhere, more than 60,000 workers across Indonesia staged peaceful rallies to promote their rights. The establishment of the Indonesian Workers’ Council was announced by the leaders of the country’s three major workers’ organizations – the Confederation of All-Indonesian Workers’ Unions, the Confederation of Indonesian Prosperity Trade Unions  and the Confederation of Indonesian Workers’ Unions (KSPI). KSPI secretary-general, Muhammad Rusdi, said the council’s aim is to give workers added strength in their fight for their rights. “We hope being united workers will have stronger bargaining power when negotiating with the government and business leaders.” He said the council, which has about five million members, will also keep urging the government to adopt policies that side with the people, instead of merely improving economic growth. Low wages, outsourcing, social insurance and pensions, and the protection of migrant workers are just some of the issues the new council is seeking to address.    
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