Indonesian workers in Singapore to have their wages raised

Antara News
17 May 07

Indonesia will raise the wages of its informal migrant workers in Singapore from 280 to 350 Singapore dollars as of July 1, 2007.

The head of the National Agency for Migrant Workers Protection and Placement, Jumhur Hidayat, said here on Wednesday since the wages have never been raised in the past ten years, the agency, the Indonesian embassy in Singapore and the workers supplier agencies had agreed to increase the wages of Indonesian migrant workers employed in Singapore`s informal sector.

The wage raise is expected to increase Indonesia’s foreign exchange income by Rp375 billion. At present there was is 75,000 Indonesian migrant workers in Singapore, and 3,000 new ones have come there, while another 3,000 had returne home.

The agency will also shorten the period of their wage cuts from seven to five months, as compensation for their employment cost they actually secured a job there. “This will benefit the workers,” Jumhur said.

He said the decision to raise their wages was made after discussions with various parties and considering objective conditions in the field. He said S$350 is believed to be ideal in view of the minimum wages of Philippine workers in the island republic.

“The Philippines has set the wages of its workers at S$400 per month,” he said.

In many countries the wages of workers employed in the informal sector was always set in reference to market mechanism while in Hong Kong it is set based upon their minimum wages.

The new wages of Indonesian migrant workers employed in the informal sector in Singapore applied to newly employed workers and those whose contract had been extended after expiry. “The hike must be mentioned in the work order, placement and work agreements,” he said.

Jumhur appealed to the employers in Singapore to make the necessary adjustments to the raise. “We have already informed the Singapore embassy in Jakarta about the new development, and have asked it to pass on the information to the employers,” he said.

He said the wages of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia would also raised in the next two weeks

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