Current Wages Policy in Indonesia and its Politics



About the Seminar

Following the election of the New Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, a coalition of ten trade unions that had backed Baswedan in the Jakarta elections withdrew their support. They criticised Baswedan for breaking a political contract they say he had signed with them promising wage rises beyond that formalised in Government Regulation No 78/2015.

This presentation will outline the current processes for determining the minimum wage, both before and after the proclamation of regulation 78/2015. It will also outline the reaction of trade unions to these regulations and the intersection with electoral politics – primarily in Jakarta but also with reference to West Java. It will assess the political status of the other major concerns of labour, namely that of outsourcing (labour hire) and the new regulations regarding “internship work” (bekerja magang).

About the Speaker

Max Lane is a Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and a Visiting Lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Gajah Mada University. He has recently completed a draft monograph on the politics of Indonesian trade unionism, which has been submitted for publication

His most recent book is Indonesia Tidak Hadir di Bumi Manusia: Pramoedya, Sejarah dan Politik (2017) – [Indonesia is Not Present on This Earth of Mankind: Pramoedya, History and Politics] is now into its second printing. He is the translator of Pramoedya’s reknown Buru Quartet, starting with This Earth of Mankind as well as Pramoedya’s The Chinese in Indonesia and Arok of Java.

His other recent books are Decentralization and Discontents: An Essay on Class, Political Agency and National Perspective in Indonesian Politics (ISEAS 2014); Unfinished Nation: Indonesia Before and After Suharto (Verso 2008, 2017); and Catastrophe in Indonesia (Seagull/University of Chicago 2010). In 2016 he published a collection of poems and prose in Indonesia and Not, Poems and Otherwise: Anecdotes Scattered (Djaman Baroe, 2016), which was launched at the 2016 Singapore Writers Festival. He is also the translator of plays and poems of W.S. Rendra. He was the founding editor of Inside Indonesia magazine, has served as a Second Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and as a Principal Research Officer for the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade in the Australian Parliament as well as a journalist.

For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 14 December 2017.


Dec 15 2017


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2