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Tag: Indonesia

Indonesian workers’ movement – a sleeping giant comes to life

OCTOBER 31, 2012 – October 3, as many as 2.8 million workers in Indonesia staged an enormous strike, bringing the entire economy to a standstill from 9am until 6pm. It was the biggest mass action by labour in that country since 1965. The protests closed 5,000 factories in 12 provinces. In Jakarta alone, the machines at 800 factories went silent (Al Jazeera 2012; Budiasa 2012; Sagita and Primanita 2012; Sijabat 2012a). The strikers were demanding improved welfare and benefits. But the main issue was outsourcing. Yoris Raweyai, chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers’ Union (KSPI), said that strikers wanted…

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Indonesia – ‘This state was built on the sweat of the workers’

JUNE 30, 2001 – Prior to the raid on the anti-globalization conference in Indonesia, myself and three others (two from Australia and one from Thailand) were able to meet with and interview trade union activists in Jakarta. We first talked with a young organizer with the Greater Jakarta Labour Union. What are the conditions like for workers in Indonesia? Let me give you an example of conditions. Go to the garment factories or the shoe factories. The working day is supposed to be eight hours. But almost every day, if there’s work to be done, they’ll have to do two…

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Eyewitness account from Indonesia – Repression and resistance

JUNE 18, 2001 – June 11, the Asia-Pacific Peoples’ Solidarity Conference – an anti-globalization conference taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia –– was violently shut down by police and a pro-police right-wing militia. [1] I was one of the delegates and wrote this report. To understand Indonesia, you have to understand the depth of the economic crisis. Jakarta, where I was staying, is a city blasted raw by the market and by imperialism. Just a few years ago, held up as an example of “capitalist development”, Jakarta today is a city where you can see in the background, the bank towers…

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