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Jakarta Post

‘We will continue to protest’: Labor unions insist on rejecting omnibus bill on job creation

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 21, 2020   /   02:52 pm
‘We will continue to protest’: Labor unions insist on rejecting omnibus bill on job creation Thousands of people from the Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) march in front of the House of Representatives complex in Central Jakarta to protest the omnibus bill on job creation on Monday, Jan 20, 2020. (JP/Moch. Fiqih Prawira)

Labor unions voiced their persistence in rejecting the government’s omnibus bill on job creation as they staged another protest in front of the House of Representatives building complex in Jakarta on Monday.

“We will continue to protest [the bill],” Indonesian Worker Union Confederation (KSPI) president Said Iqbal said during the march. “We will also take legal action by filing a judicial review with the Constitutional Court and a civil lawsuit with the Central Jakarta District Court.”

Thousands were seen at the protest on Monday. They voiced their opposition to the bill, saying it would reduce severance payments, enforce hourly pay to replace the minimum wage, ease foreign and outsourced worker employment and eliminate sanctions against companies that fail to provide health insurance. The government has since clarified that the bill will not eliminate the minimum wage regulation but without shedding further light on the rumors.

The bill on job creation is seen as essential for the government in its efforts to attract foreign investment to help boost economic growth. If passed, the omnibus law will amend around 1,200 articles in more than 80 prevailing laws, including the Labor Law, which have been blamed for hampering investment in the country. 

Previously, hundreds of people from several unions also marched to the House complex on Jan. 13 after about 100 people staged a protest on the streets of Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta.

The House’s Commission IX overseeing healthcare and manpower met with a KSPI representative on Monday and said it would wait for the bill's draft to determine its stance.

Several commission members, however, have openly rejected the bill. They include commission vice chairman and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Ansory Siregar, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician Ribka Ciptaning Proletariyati, National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Saleh Partaonan Daulay and PKS politician Netty Prasetiyani. Gerindra Party politician Obon Tabroni suggested that the House only rejected revisions related to labor regulation.

“Commission IX will always support workers and I personally reject the bill,” Ansory told reporters after the meeting. (mfp)