JUBI, Monday, 02 May 2011—Hundreds of dock workers demonstrated on Monday at the Port of Merauke, demanding wage increases from $US8 (70,000 rupiah) to $US23 (R200,000) per each ship unloaded.
The demonstration went ahead from 7am resulting in delays of the loading and unloading of goods and congestion at the port. The demonstration was peaceful.
“Around eleven years we have work loading and unloading ship, for only 70,000rupiah ($US8). It is very hard and exhausting work. The relevant authorities should attend to this.” demanded Yohanes T at the port yesterday.
The chairman of the dock workers union (TKMB) in Merauke said his organisation were not involved in the demonstration, described as action taken by freelance workers, stating “It’s outside my responsibility. Please check with the Port Authorities (Adpel) or others”.
He reported the demonstrations did not interfere with the activities in the port area, and the hundreds of workers within his organisation were able to perform their duties, he reported that “The demonstrating workers were kept outside and not allowed to enter the port”*