October 4, 2012 - 18:59 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Indonesia said on Thursday, October 4 it would improve worker pay and restrict the use of temporary contracts in the face of a vow by union leaders, who staged a national strike this week, to press ahead with industrial action, Reuters said.
Chief Economics Minister Hatta Rajasa said the government would draft a regulation to increase worker pay and would quickly implement rules to improve conditions for workers not on fixed contracts. He gave no details of the pay increase.
Indonesia's booming economy and sustained annual growth of more than 6 percent has contributed to a rise in union militancy as workers seek a larger share of the cake in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
Union influence could grow in the run-up to an election in 2014 when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono steps down after two terms and as politicians from all parties become wary of falling afoul of labor.
Police said hundreds of thousands of people went on strike on Wednesday in the world's fourth most populous nation. Union leaders said two million workers took to the streets in cities across the archipelago.
The main union grievance is so-called outsourcing, the practice of using contract workers with no non-financial benefits to do jobs that otherwise could be done by staff.
There are 16 million outsourced workers, according to media estimates.
Last year, workers at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold'sN Indonesia unit staged a three-month strike at its mine in eastern Indonesia to demand better pay and conditions. That triggered greater labor assertiveness across the country.