The Living Wage in Indonesia:

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The Living Wage in Indonesia:

The Living Wage in Indonesia: Empowering Workers for a Brighter Tomorrow
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Empowering Workers for a Brighter Tomorrow



The concept of a living wage has gained prominence worldwide as a means to ensure that workers receive fair compensation, allowing them to meet their basic needs and maintain a decent standard of living. In Indonesia, this idea has taken root, aiming to uplift workers and create a more equitable society. Let’s delve into the history of living wages, explore their significance, and envision a future where every worker thrives.

A Brief History

The roots of the living wage concept stretch back centuries. Ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle advocated for income that considered communal well-being1. However, the modern understanding of living wages began to take shape in the early 20th century. Here are some key milestones:

  1. Australia (1907): Australia pioneered discussions around living wages, emphasizing the need for remuneration that allows workers and their families to afford a decent standard of living.
  2. Post-World Wars: The International Labour Organization (ILO) played a crucial role in promoting living wages after both World Wars. These efforts aimed to address social inequality and ensure workers’ well-being2.
  3. Shift Toward Neoliberalism: In response to Reaganomics and Thatcherism, which favored market-driven policies, living wages gained traction. Advocates recognized that increasing workers’ purchasing power could stimulate demand and boost the economy3.

Benefits for Workers

1. Dignity and Well-Being

  • A living wage provides workers with dignity, recognizing their essential role in society.
  • It covers basic needs such as food, housing, and healthcare, fostering physical and mental well-being.

2. Reduced Turnover and Improved Productivity

3. Healthier Families

  • A living wage enables families to access quality healthcare and nutrition.
  • Children in households with adequate income have better educational opportunities and brighter futures.

4. Social Equality and Economic Resilience

  • By bridging income gaps, living wages contribute to a more equitable society.
  • Workers become less reliant on government assistance, leading to economic stability.

Outlook into the Future

As we envision the future, let’s commit to the following:

  1. Global Adoption: Encourage businesses worldwide to adopt living wages. Consumers increasingly support ethical brands, and companies that prioritize fair compensation gain a competitive advantage3.
  2. Collaboration: Governments, employers, and civil society must collaborate to set living wage standards. Collective action ensures sustainable change.
  3. Innovation: Explore innovative ways to calculate living wages, considering regional variations and household types.
  4. Advocacy: Raise awareness about the benefits of living wages, inspiring a movement that transforms lives.

In Indonesia, as elsewhere, the living wage isn’t just about numbers—it’s about human dignity, empowerment, and a shared commitment to building a better world. Let us work together to ensure that every worker receives not just a wage, but a pathway to prosperity. 🌟🤝


  1. WageIndicator Foundation: Living Wages in Indonesia
  2. World Economic Forum: What’s a ‘living wage’ and why’s paying it good for business and workers?
  3. Living Wage Network
  4. Ethical Trading Initiative: A living wage for workers
  5. ILO: What is a living wage and how is it different from the minimum wage?


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