Indonesian workers protest against benefits tax

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 3:54pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 3:59pm


Thousands of Indonesian workers have taken to the streets to protest against low wages and having to pay for social security services.

Jakarta police spokesman Colonel Rikwanto said several thousand labourers rallied on Thursday near the presidential palace in the capital, Jakarta, before marching peacefully to the parliament building.

They unfurled flags and banners lambasting a law passed last and expected to take effect in two years, requiring workers to contribute a percentage of their pay for social security and health benefits. They also called for a minimum wage increase.

Similar protests have been held recently in other Indonesian cities, urging the government to improve wages as the country’s rising economic growth leads to a higher cost of living in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.