Labor unions and civil rights groups plan to take to the streets once again to protest against the controversial job creation omnibus bill as the House of Representatives and the government have decided to pass it into law in Monday’s plenary session.
Labor alliances and NGOs across the country pledged on Sunday to voice their opposition to the bill one last time with large-scale protests and strikes from Tuesday to Thursday.
However, some labor unions have decided to start the demonstrations earlier after the House decided to fast-track the final stage of the bill’s deliberation by moving the vote to a previously unscheduled plenary session on Monday instead of the initially planned Thursday.
A House document obtained by The Jakarta Post states that the bill was to be endorsed in a plenary session on Monday at 2 p.m., concurrently with the House speaker’s closing speech for the first session of the 2020-2021 term. The plenary session is still ongoing as of the time of writing.
Suparno, the chairman of the Bekasi chapter of the Indonesian Metal Workers Federation (FSPMI) in West Java, said around 5,000 workers from the region would join the demonstration in front of the House complex in Senayan, Cental Jakarta, on Monday.
Jakarta Police traffic unit head Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said the police had diverted traffic in front of the House complex, where most of the demonstrations were to take place on Monday.
All roads to the House complex have been closed in anticipation of the protest, according to him.
“Avoid roads around the [House complex] in anticipation of a demonstration,” Sambodo said as quoted by kompas.com.
“This traffic diversion is situational [in accordance with crowd movement].”
The Jakarta Police previously refused to grant protesters permission to gather in front of the House complex, saying that large crowds could increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
However, police personnel remained on standby to anticipate protesters disregarding the warning.
“We are urging [protesters] to understand,” said Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus. “Don’t let there be a new [COVID-19 infection] cluster.” (rfa)