Welfare to the people

Indonesia Vice President Boediono has thrown his support behind wage increase demands by labour unions, which have intensified in the last few weeks.

“Improvement in the welfare of our working population is one of the government’s top priorities,” Boediono said in his keynote speech during the first Indonesia Investment Summit in Jakarta yesterday.

At least six provinces in the country have agreed to increase the regional minimum wage for 2013, with 27 others expected to follow suit, following strikes and protests by labour unions throughout the country.

Boediono urged businessmen and prospective investors to understand the labour movement’s demands for better pay and work conditions, which he argued as the fruit of the country’s maturing democracy.

“We all should respect it [the labour movement] accordingly,” he said.

Boediono described investors and businessmen in the country as “the goose laying the golden eggs”, heaping praise on them for the important role they play in Indonesia’s economic performance and who must be protected for the sake of the economy.

However, he argued that the “goose” should not be the only one enjoying the benefits of the golden eggs.

“Let us also make sure that the benefits are shared fairly among those who have contributed to the laying of the golden eggs,” the vice president said.