News / Asia

Indonesian Factory Workers Stage Massive Strike

Public order officers block protesters demonstrating over labour issues in an industrial area of Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta, October 3, 2012.
Public order officers block protesters demonstrating over labour issues in an industrial area of Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta, October 3, 2012.
Hundreds of thousands of factory workers in Indonesia have walked off the job, demanding better and more job security.

Union officials said more than two million workers from 700 companies took part in the one-day, nationwide strike Wednesday.  

Police said the actual number of strikers was lower but tens of thousands of police officers and military personnel were standing by. Officials say 15,000 police officers were patrolling the streets of Jakarta alone.

The workers want the government to change regulations that allow companies to hire workers on temporary contracts, skirting the country's strict labor laws.

A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Indonesia's economy has been growing steadily, at a rate of up to 6.6 percent per year. But the OECD said officials need to invest in an "effective social safety net" and education in order to help raise wages.

Wednesday's economic report from the Asian Development Bank also warned that a shaky demand for exports could slow Indonesia's growth for the remainder of this year and next year.

  • Indonesian workers from various labor groups attend a rally against outsourcing to contract workers in Jakarta, Oct. 3, 2012. Thousands of workers took part in the demonstration to demand better working conditions and higher wages.
  • Factory workers shout slogans during a protest in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Oct. 3, 2012
  • Workers ride their motorcycles along a street during a demonstration in an industrial area of Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Oct. 3, 2012.
  • Female workers gather in front of a factory during a strike at the Karawang Industrial estate in Bekasi, Indonesia's West Java province, Oct. 3, 2012.
  • Workers shout slogans during a strike in front of the Astra Honda Motor factory at Karawang Industrial estate in Bekasi, Indonesia's West Java province, October 3, 2012.
  • Factory workers take part in a protest in Cikarang, West Java, Indonesia, Oct. 3, 2012.

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