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Jakarta Post

Omnibus bill on job creation: Labor articles to be discussed last amid public protests

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 21, 2020   /   02:48 pm
Omnibus bill on job creation: Labor articles to be discussed last amid public protests Workers from the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FSPM) participate in a rally held by the Mobile People's Alliance (ARB) at the junction of Jl. Gejayan in Yogyakarta on Monday, March 9. Workers oppose the omnibus bill on job creation as they argue the bill is detrimental to labor interests. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

The House of Representatives will begin deliberations on the omnibus bill on job creation with noncontroversial topics and discuss controversial provisions on labor at the end following opposition from labor groups.

The House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) held a closed-door meeting on Monday to decide which chapters would be discussed first and last.

Baleg's deputy chairman Willy Aditya told The Jakarta Post on Monday that the bill’s chapter on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) empowerment would be discussed first, while the manpower chapter would be last.

Read also: Omnibus bill on shaky ground after layoffs

"We will invite some relevant community groups to public hearings to deliberate each chapter,” the NasDem Party politician said.

The omnibus bill on job creation consists of 15 chapters and 174 articles.

Willy added that Baleg members had also agreed to invite six to nine experts in law, business law, business and investment on Wednesday to discuss the bill’s purposes and objectives, which would be stipulated in its second chapter.

After the SMEs chapter, Baleg will deliberate the chapters in this order: Research and Innovation; Government Investment and National Strategic Projects; Economic Zones; Ease of Doing Business; Investment Ecosystem and Business Activities Improvement; Land Acquisitions; Government and Administration; and Manpower.

"After the public hearings, we will make a tentative problem inventory list [DIM]," said Willy.

Despite the order of deliberations, labor unions still plan to hold mass rallies in front of executive and legislative offices across the nation on April 30 to oppose the bill despite a ban on crowds under the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that have been implemented in Jakarta and other cities.

Read also: Police ban May Day rallies against omnibus bill on job creation

Around 50,000 workers throughout Greater Jakarta also plan to stage protests in front of the legislative complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

"We demand the bill be dropped, not just putting off deliberations on the manpower chapter until last. The government and the House must take concrete steps to prevent workers from being affected by the coronavirus and layoffs instead of deliberating the bill,” said Kahar S. Cahyono of the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI).

He added that millions had been furloughed and laid off amid the COVID-19 outbreak. "What's the difference between us holding rallies and working at offices regularly? Many companies still ask their workers to work as usual and ignore the regulation."

The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the NasDem Party, both in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s coalition, have pushed the government to drop labor provisions from the omnibus bill on job creation following growing public opposition. However, the government has refused to change the draft bill.

If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak