Indonesians Protest on Labor Day

May 10, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. dismay (n.) [dis-mey] – a sudden disappointment
Example: Passengers’ dismay increased as the airline cancelled more flights.

2. protest (n.) [proh-test] – an expression of disapproval against something or someone
ExampleProtests are usually done by groups of people who share a similar goal.
3. lay-off (idiom) [ley] [of] – removal of employees in a company
ExampleLay-offs commonly happen when the economy is bad.

4. implementation (n.) [im-pluh-muhn-tey-shuhn] – the application of a plan, idea or proposal.
Example: The manager is waiting for the implementation of the plan he approved.

Read the text below.

Thousands of Indonesian workers staged a protest during the International Labor Day to demand for higher wages and more secured jobs.

Around 50,000 people from 66 various workers’ groups were initially expected to join the protest, but on the day itself, it was unclear how many workers marched together towards the gates of the presidential palace in Jakarta.

Upon reaching the gate of the palace, which was protected by a lot of guards, the protesters burned tires to express their dismay over the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The workers’ demands include the increase of minimum wage which presently does not exist on a national level as regional governments set the lowest amount of salary a person receives for a day.

In addition, protesters also demanded companies to stop outsourcing or employing another company to handle a part of the business because this often leads to lay-offs. They also asked for rights of employees’ organization and the implementation of government insurance for all Indonesian workers.

President Yudhoyono, who was then visiting factories around Jakarta, was not in the palace to witness the protesters calling for his and his vice president’s resignation.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How does outsourcing help a company?
·         How does it create a problem for workers?

Discussion B

·         Why should the government provide insurance for workers?
·         What is the benefit of providing insurance for workers?

May 10, 2011