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More than 2 Million Indonesian Workers Strike For Better Wages, Benefits

Common Dreams staff

Factory workers take part in a protest in Cikarang, West Java, Indonesia, Wednesday. Indonesian unions said more than 2 million factory workers in 24 cities have gone on a one-day general strike across the country to call for higher wages and protest the hiring of contract workers. (Photo: Associated Press).

More than 2 million factory workers held a one-day general strike in Indonesia Wednesday to advocate for better wages and benefits, and to protest the hiring of contract workers.

Hundreds of thousands of laborers from more than 700 companies also demonstrated, the Associated Press reported.

Protesters also oppose a law that allows companies to hire contract workers for a year without benefits, the BBC said.

Factory workers earn an average salary of just more than $120 a month, according to the Associated Press. The Indonesian economy gres 6.5 percent last year—the fastest growth since 1997-1998—but the cost of living has increased, making living conditions more sparse.

"Today's strike is a warning to the government to act quickly and firmly to respond to what workers want," union member Nining Elitos said, as reported by the BBC. "Don't blame us if workers lose patience and disrupt airports and toll roads."


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