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May Day in Bali enlivened by dance, demands for wage increase

Detik News - May 1, 2017

Prins David Saut, Denpasar – Workers in Bali enlivened May Day by demanding increases to the provincial minimum wage (UMP) and dancing as they read out their demands.

This was observed at the Niti Mandala Renon square in the Balinese provincial capital of Bali on Monday May 1 where protesters wearing various paraphernalia had been gathering since earlier in the afternoon.

The rally was concentrated in front of the gates to the Bali governor's office located alongside the Niti Mandala Renon square. The action was joined by workers from the United Balinese Labour Alliance (ABBB) and professional organisations such as the Denpasar Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).

The paraphernalia brought by the demonstrators including flags, head bands and red-and-black T-shirts. A number of banners were also brought to the rally with messages such as "Your accumulated wealth is the sweat of your workers" and "Alas employers, a part of your wealth belongs to your workers".

In their demands, the demonstrators called on the Balinese provincial government to include the cost of traditional ceremonies as a component of the provincial minimum wages. Based on a survey carried out by the ABBB, the value of this component amounts to 300,000 rupiah a month.

"Bali is known for its traditions and culture. Tourists coming to Bali are also influenced by culture, because of this therefore a component of wages needs to be included to pay for this culture", said ABBB coordinator Dewa Rai Budi Sudarsana.

The workers said that Government Regulation Number 78/2015 fails to accommodate the cost of traditional ceremonies and culture so the workers are demanding that the Balinese provincial government abolish this regulation.

"At the very least the Bali minimum wage should be 3.5 to 4 million rupiah a month. Currently it stands at 1.9 million rupiah a month, so it is still not adequate", said Sudarsana.

Other demands included the abolition of contract labour, outsourcing and an end to arbitrary dismissals. After conveying their demands, some of the participants danced to traditional Balinese music until the protest ended.

The rally, which was watched over by more than 450 officers from the Denpasar municipal police, proceeded in an orderly manner until the demonstrators disbanded. (imk/imk)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was "May Day di Bali Diisi dengan Joget dan Pembacaan Tuntutan".]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-3488667/may-day-di-bali-diisi-dengan-joget-dan-pembacaan-tuntutan.

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