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Jakarta Post

Labor unions demand representation in discussions over omnibus bill on job creation

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 12, 2020   /   07:31 am
Labor unions demand representation in discussions over omnibus bill on job creation Workers take part in a protest on May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Tangerang, Banten, on May 1 to call on lawmakers to drop omnibus law discussions and focus on handling the COVID-19 outbreak. (AFP/Fajrin Raharjo)

Labor unions have demanded the government to form a technical team with fair representation for workers, in addition to government and business associations, to discuss the labor cluster of the controversial omnibus bill on job creation.

The labor unions filed their demands for the team in a meeting on Wednesday evening attended by Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartanto, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD and other government officials.

Some of the 12 labor unions that attended, including the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) and the All-Indonesia Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI), expressed hope that the team could assess and discuss vexed articles in the bill from both a labor and business perspective.

KSPSI president Andi Gani Nena Wea said some of the unions wanted the labor cluster of the bill to be discussed again from scratch as the initial drafting did not involve labor unions.

“The government initially wanted to discuss the existing draft, but [the labor unions] want to start from scratch,” Andi told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Read also: Indonesia delays deliberations over labor issues in omnibus bill amid backlash

Following mounting pressure from labor groups, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and House of Representatives speaker Puan Maharani announced on April 29 that the deliberation for the labor cluster of the omnibus bill would be postponed. However, the House would still continue to deliberate the other 10 clusters on the bill, which range from the simplification of permits to economic zones.

While the government had yet to fulfill the demands, Andi said Airlangga had ordered the Manpower Ministry to form a technical team. The government would soon make an announcement about the formation of the team, he added.

Additionally, the labor groups expected the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) to also take part in the team to represent the business side of deliberation.

Read also: Guide to omnibus bill on job creation: 1,028 pages in 10 minutes

Mahfud said in a statement that the government appreciated the labor unions’ input, which would be used to complement previous deliberations of the bill.

“We received a variety of good input and we appreciate it all. This input will enrich the discussions on the omnibus bill on job creation,” he added.

Apindo chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani said that, while the employers association did not receive a request regarding the team, Apindo and Kadin were set to take part in the bill’s deliberation along with other parties.