The Meaning of May Day for Laborers

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Solidaritas.net – International Worker’s Day, or so-called ‘May Day’ is celebrated annually on May 1 by laborers in many ways. However, May Day is identical with street protest actions, including laborers in Indonesia. All this time, May Day has become a momentum for laborers to convey their aspirations in fighting for a better working condition and life.

illustration of may day
Illustration.

According to Atang, one of the members of the Federation of Metal, Electronics, and Machinery Workers Union (FSP LEM), All Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI), the result of laborers’ struggle can be seen from the government’s decision to set May 1 as a national holiday. In the future, he hopes laborers can fight for other issues, beside about wages.

“A massive labor movement successfully sets May 1 as a national holiday. Next, the laborers’ demands maybe not about the wages issue, but, such as reducing the working hours from 8 to 6 hours, because too much of their time spends in the workplace and road. They have such a little time to gather with family, even for studying is difficult, “said Atang to Solidaritas.net, Tuesday (28/04/2015).

Tholib, the Deputy Head of Dawah Department of DPC Indonesian Moslem Workers Brotherhood (PPMI) Karawang, has different opinion.

According to him, May Day can be filled with positive things, so it will be useful for the laborers themselves. PPMI Karawang itself held some events such as sports, social events, and Tabligh Akbar on this May Day 2015.

“This moment should be used for positive and educative things to improve laborers’ dedication and knowledge. Because the laborers did not understand their existence, they become slaves of the capitalists, like a robot. And, their rights have not been fulfilled,” said Tholib, who works at PT Supravisi Rama Optik, added his opinion.

Just like his colleagues, Yasin, the Head of the Federation of Indonesian Labor Movement Union (PB F-SPBI), also considered that May Day is the momentum for laborers to fight for their rights.

“In my opinion, the meaning of May Day is that a moment to remember and become laborers’ revivalin struggling their rights as a worker,” he said.

It is not wrong to say that May Day is the day of struggle, which can be interpreted in various ways, either taking to the streets or other activities. We hope that all actions result positive things.

“To be sure, the workers will keep fighting for livelihood as human beings,” said Adi Nugraha, the member of the Training, Defense and Security Division of FSPS union.

Source: Solidaritas.net Bahasa Indonesia

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