Indonesian workers stay off work to prepare for nationwide strike

Indonesian workers stay off work to prepare for nationwide strike
A factory in Pulogadung, East Jakarta, is closed while its protesting workers camped on the streets on Monday.

INDONESIA - Tens of thousands of workers stayed away from their workplaces in a number of cities in a warm-up for a nationwide strike scheduled for Thursday.

In Jakarta and surrounding areas, thousands of workers staged peaceful strikes.

Workers rallied in industrial estates in Pulogadung, Cilincing, Bekasi, Cikarang, Tangerang and Bogor to announce the nationwide strike. Most employers had no objection to the action as only some of their workers participated.

Tatang, a worker at PT Exel Metal Industry in Cibitung, Bekasi, told The Jakarta Post that the labour union at his company had sent only 10 to 15 representatives to participate in a rally at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta.

"There has been no disruption in production activities. Employees are working as usual. Those rallying aren't from the morning shift; they'll go to work after the demonstration," he revealed.

Not all factories in that area were that fortunate. There were no apparent activities at publicly listed packaging company PT Dynaplast, for example. The gate was shut and the production plant remained silent.

A security guard at the factory, who refused to be named, revealed that there was no production activities in the morning.

"If the condition is safe, the factory may resume operations in the evening. But I don't know for sure," he said.

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