The Struggle against Wage Slavery

Chairman of KASBI (Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance ) Speech

Young, Brave, Militant salute! One determination, one action.

Workers comrades in struggle, in this occasion, as KASBI chairman I would like to deliver fundamental thoughts on the essence of the struggle against neo-colonialism in Indonesia, especially in working class sector.

Recently Indonesians being shocked by coverage and reports on slavery in pan factory located in Tangerang. The ruling government tried to save their shamefull reputation by keep on repeating statement that such case only happened in Tangerang pan factory thus this issue shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. This statement clearly try to downplay the gross fact that the slavery in the pan factory were accompanied by repression and intimidations from thugs and apparatus. Both these thugs and apparatus are nothing but hired men to oppress the workers.

From this case of slavery and thugs (factory bosses’ hitmen) we must remember our basic struggle. Working class struggle to eradicate neocolonialism by the imperialists allied with domestic capitalist roaders and state apparatus and bureaucrats. For years we have been fighting to erase casualization and and outsourcing system since this system is nothing but modern slavery. A modern wage slavery by the capitalist allied with state apparatus and bureaucrats that keep on strangling Indonesian workers in Indonesia.

If workers in Indonesia with their trade unions fight to erase casualization and outsourching system and low wage policy, the capitalist then hire thugs to oppress the workers and threaten them to cancel their demands. The violence of these hired thugs are very visible and explicit yet the state apparatus never did anything to protect the workers. It seems the bosses gain protection from state apparatus so the bosses can keep on oppressing the workers with their hired thugs to silence any workers who dare to protest.

Young, brave, and militant workers comrade,

We should analyse the Tangerang slavery case completely to understand that such slavery not only happen there.

Why we always say that casualization and outsorcing system and low wage policy is a form of slavery? We all know that slavery is a condition where a workers being totally controlled by their master. In the dark ages, practices of slavery are explicit and violent. We can find slave on one side and slave master on the other side. But today such kind of slavery is no more and being replaced by wage slavery. An implicit form of slavery but still the same in it’s essence. KASBI call this modern slavery as neo-colonialism because Indonesia being under control by foreign capital. It means all the profits and benefits which are results of the workers’ hardworks, all belong to the imperialist.

The bosses enjoy maximum protection from the state apparatus and bureaucrats by law bills and legislation that legalize the practice of modern slavery i.e. casualization and outsourcing system and low wage policy. The also enjoy maximum protection from hiring thugs that constantly intimidating workers. It is still fresh in our memory how KASBI workers in Tangerang were being beaten by thugs when they struggled for their rights in a protest outside the factory while the security officers did nothing to protect us. In other protests we also witnessed the thugs were being let freely by the apparatus to beat the workers. All these cases are so explicit and visible to everyone in Indonesia but the government’s silence meant nothing but protection towards the bosses or the capitalists. In severel industrial areas some town and village bureaucrats even work as thugs master that will always brutally suppress any workers that dare to protes demanding better wage and working condition. It is very strange to see that government apparatus in the lowest level doesn’t want their citizens to live better with higher wage but instead become the forefront defender of modern slavery system in their local regions.

Young, brave, and militant comrades,

We must have one determination and one action to fight this neo-colonialism. Our power is the burning bravery to face the enemies of the working class and our fear will be the fuel for the oppressors. Therefore to erase our fear we have to be braver to fight. We will not retreat before we achieve victory. Let us wage the struggle against this neo-colonialism.

Long live workers! Long live working class!

Down with casualization and outsourcing system!

Down with low wage policy! For a national decent wage!

Down with neo-colonialism!

*this speech was delivered during FSBN KASBI (Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance-Nusantara Trade Union Federation) general assembly.

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