Joko Waiting for Wage Council Recommendation
Lenny Tristia Tambun
The Jakarta administration cannot determine the minimum wage level for 2013 because it is still waiting for a recommendation on the amount from the city’s Wage Council, Governor Joko Widodo said on Monday.
Joko said that he has yet to receive a copy of the council’s recommendation letter, which was reported to recommend a minimum monthly level of Rp. 2,216,243 ($230).
He said that if the letter was received, he would then convene a meeting between employers and labor unions, to arrive at the best solution.
“The recommendation letter from the Jakarta Wage Council is not yet in my hands. When it arrives, I will invite entrepreneurs and labor unions to meet with me,” Joko said at City Hall.
The governor said that he wanted to be as quick as possible on settling the minimum wage level, but declined to give a date.
“The letter has not even reached me so I don’t know when the meeting with the business owners and the labor unions can be held,” he said.
The level that has supposedly been recommended by the wage council is 44 percent higher than this year’s level. The employers sitting at the council have so far refused to agree to that level.
The employers accused the government and workers of having colluded to arrive at the figure. Under the law, each of the three parties can propose the level they want and the final sum must be agreed upon by all three sides.
Workers have proposed Rp 2,216,243 as the monthly minimum wage, while business owners want to leave it at Rp 1,978,789. The government is proposing Rp 2,176,667.09, arguing that in 2013, the city’s economy is expected to grow by 6.8 percent with inflation remaining at about 4 percent.
Mohammad Toha, the secretary general of the Jakarta Labor Forum, said that workers wanted the minimum wage level to increase by between 15 and 50 percent next year.
He said that the rise should reflect the real needs of workers in Jakarta and demanded that the wage for the province and for each sector should be issued in a single package.
Toha also said that the forum also wants the government to include the retail sector as the 11th sector to have its minimum wage level determined.
“In detail, the sectoral minimum wage for the chemical, energy and mining sector should be 15 to 20 percent; for the metal, electronics and machinery sector 24-25 percent; the automotive sector 25-30 percent; insurance and banking 50 percent; and food and drink sector 15 percent,” Toha said.
Toha also wants to see increases of 16 percent in the pharmaceutical sector, 20 percent for textiles and leather, 15 percent for tourism, 50 percent for telecommunications, and a 15 percent increase for retail sector workers.