Labor Day (?)

0 Comments 01 May 2007 / by

everywhere in the world celebrates may 1 as a national holiday for labor day (except for US who has their own version of labor day on september 1). ironically, in indonesia, it’s also not a national holiday and we’re probably the only country in asia (at least, southeast asia) who doesn’t commemorate the day as a national holiday.

instead, the so-called labor day is usually marked as the labor’s demonstration day where labor workers marches toward government offices or parliamentary to voice out their concerns about the labor law and their work conditions.

goes without saying, it kinda reflects how our government treat labors. what should be a biggest asset of this country, labor workers usually blindsighted as liabilities, especially when they stand firm to get what they are rightful to receive. sadly, when i observe people who are working in household maintenance area, they are treated less than the owner treats their pet dog. isn’t that sad?

over the weekend, i went to the new & currently hype mall, senayan city with my parents. after a walkaround, we chose a restaurant to have our dinner. we sat next to a family who are also enjoying their dinner. among them, a young-age girl was busy trying to feed the family’s little daughter who screams loudly cuz she wanted to eat by herself. the young girl is obviously the babysitter. while the little daughter refused to be helped while eating her dinner, the sitter sat in front of her, while the rest of the family enjoy their food.

the sitter was just sitting there looking around. she looks hungry, but noone offered her anything, and everyone just continues to enjoy their dinner, ignoring her. she really looks out of place.

on the other hand, next to her, was my family. i just couldn’t help looking at her and to see her sad expressions. she might have had her dinner already, that’s why the family didn’t offer her. or maybe they did, but she refused. or simply, they never offered her anything… i don’t know. but from the looks of her expression, she definitely looked like she was hungry.

my parents and i just rushed out of there, cuz we just didn’t want to see her expression too long. we were in very tough position, because we wanted to offer her something, but it would mean an insult to the family she was with. and i’m sure she wouldn’t take it. but her expression stays with me all the way home. i regretted that we just look another way and stood still.

sadly and ironically, that’s also how our government looks at these labor workers. they look the other way cuz they are blinded by the huge money invested from the manufacturing industry that would hire these labors at a low cost, hence, generating higher margin of revenue. these revenues, of course, a buyout for their approval for these investors to come in.

sad, really. especially when a household workers, like sitters or maids, are blindsighted.. because they just don’t generate anything. therefore, laws to protect them were also a last priority on the list.

the government can’t even get them a day off on a labor day. ironic, isn’t it? 🙁

:: sLesTa

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a worker by choice, a mother and a wife by nature / owner of / co-founder of the urban mama / the urban muslimah | email: slesta[at]slesta[dot]com

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