Hundreds in Bekasi Laid off as Rupiah Weakens

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  • Pekerja memeriksa kondisi mesin mobil Suzuki usai dirakit di sebuah pabrik mobil di Bekasi, Jawa Barat, 27 Februari 2015. Tempo/Tony Hartawan

    Pekerja memeriksa kondisi mesin mobil Suzuki usai dirakit di sebuah pabrik mobil di Bekasi, Jawa Barat, 27 Februari 2015. Tempo/Tony Hartawan

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Obon Tabroni, the chairman of the Bekasi chapter of the Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers Union (FSPMI), said that the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar had caused hundreds of layoffs in the city.

    “We received a report that about 400 workers have been laid off,” Obon said on Friday, August 28.

    According to Obon, the actual number could reach thousands since Bekasi is the largest industrial zone in South East Asia. Therefore, Obon said that the FSPMI called on all workers in Bekasi to report layoff cases that happened to their peers.

    Despite his understanding about the cause of the layoffs, Obon said that companies must compensate the workers under the applicable regulations. He also called on the companies to rehire the workers when the economy improves.

    Obon also urged the government to accelerate the economic recovery in Indonesia since the depreciation of rupiah would significantly affect the workers. Obon also expressed his concern with the unemployment rate as a result of the layoffs. According to Obon, training workers to open their own business would be a herculean task.

    “Most of the workers prefer to work [for companies],” he added.

    ADI WARSONO