(Thursday Reflection) : May Day…May Day

ImageGood Morning everybody and nobody (oops)

When I woke up this morning, I thought I had to go to the bathroom and prepare for work. But I forgot that for the first time, Indonesian government had declared 1 May as national holiday. Yes, International labour day or in Bahasa is called ‘Hari Buruh Sedunia’. I wonder why the government has just done it now, unlike other countries which have already celebrated it annually? For me it’s not problem, because at least we can enjoy ourselves though it’s merely one day. While the labours from -almost- all part of Indonesia are going to express their rights. Yeach, at least Jakarta and some other big cities in Indonesia will be crowded in several points.

As I watched on TV, for Jakarta and its surroundings, the labours will demonstrate to governor’s office, (maybe) presidential palace, Hotel Indonesia roundabout and..I forget where else. The biggest agendas are abolishing outsourcing system and prosperity related issues (health, rights and many more). But as you know, the labours’ problems are always become employers’ dilemma. Especially when the business is on crisis and the labours want the increasing salaries. The minimal wages are also increased in several provinces, but the risk, many companies then move their place to other provinces because they cannot afford the required regional wages.

The problematic relationship between employer and labour- in my opinion- has been historical. As when I read several history books, there are also similar problems, with different version and era. Maybe for today, many people prefer stay at home to go somewhere (especially in Jakarta and surroundings), because the traffic will be modified as it is demonstration ways. Indeed, the wages should be modified in accordance to living costs, but as automatic as robot, when you get higher salary, the price automatically rises up too. What a very ‘good’ economic system! And all the increasing will be useless…because, the rising living cost. Hehehehe..But, as far as you can spend your money wisely, it won’t be problem…just think it as an phoney  silly joke!

Anyway busway, as it is for the first time, many Indonesian calendars still printed black. While some others have been red printed for 1 May. My boarding house keeper were confused and asked me :

Him : “Is it red date?” (tanggal merah- means holiday)
Me  : “Yes, It’s May Day.”
Him : “I checked in my calendars and others, there are still black.”
Me  :” Indeed, because the government had just done it when the 2014 calendar has already been printed.”Him : ” Oh, I see…”

Well, and for the next 2015 calendar, I think it will be red printed. Much alike Chinese New Year…in 2001 (or 2) it was still tentative holiday but under Abdurrachman Wachid rule, it has been part of Indonesia’s holidays. So, how many holidays are there? you may check by yourself.

Properity and fulfilling at least basic needs are what the labours emphasize every 1 May. But I hope it will be better and better in the future, as the economic situation which is still fluctuative and tricky in recent years. Government should be more careful regarding this problem, especially in this year, there will be replacement everywhere. Corruptions have been revealed, and all the pasts ‘crimes’ are about to be exposed. On July, we will vote our new president and there is one new hope…..for Indonesia’s betterness, and undivided nation!

For justice
For prosperity
For (correct) human rights

Happy Labour Day
Selamat Hari Buruh

Tangerang, 1 May 2014



Bambang Priantono


Picture source : here

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