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Politics

Divided labor force a dilemma for next Indonesian president

Members of the GSBI labor union call for higher wages in central Jakarta on May 1.

JAKARTA -- The campaign rally by Indonesian presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto at Jakarta's national stadium ahead of the April parliamentary election was a busy day for people selling snacks and cigarettes, including 35-year-old Nurjaman. Six weeks later, Prabowo, a robust ex-special forces commander, was back at the stadium pledging support for a 30% hike in minimum wages at a Labor Day jamboree. It was a welcome development for the 100,000 unionized workers in the crowd, but not such good news for Nurjaman and the majority of the Indonesian workforce.

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