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Jakarta Post

Labor unions call on Dems, PKS to initiate legislative review of jobs law

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 22, 2020   /   11:48 am
Labor unions call on Dems, PKS to initiate legislative review of jobs law Workers of PT Panarub Industry sports footwear factory dance during a protest held in front of the factory in Tangerang, Banten, on Oct. 7. The workers voiced their concerns over the newly passed Job Creation Law during the protest. JP/Dhoni Setiawan (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Labor unions have called on the House of Representatives to conduct a legislative review on the recently passed omnibus law on job creation, challenging the Democratic Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) to initiate it.

In a legislative review, the House reviews certain aspects of a law in line with public demand and makes amendments, including annulling specific points.

The Democrats and the PKS were the two factions to oppose the bill passed into law in a House plenary session on Oct. 5. The former walked out of the session after engaging in a verbal squabble with House leadership.

“This call is especially for the two factions who strongly reject the law,” Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) president Said Iqbal said in a virtual presser on Wednesday. “The lawmakers must exercise their rights by doing a legislative review.”

He called on the two factions not to "take cover behind mass actions.”

"If it is true that you reject the law, you should take the initiative, don't hide behind the people’s opposition,” he continued.

Read also: PDI-P, Golkar targets of jobs law ire: Study

Despite specifically challenging the two factions, the workers have also sent letters to all nine factions in the House, as well as to the House speaker, the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) speaker.

In addition to calling for a legislative review, the KSPI with the All-Indonesia Workers Union Confederation (KSPSI) and 32 other worker confederations are preparing to challenge the law at the Constitutional Court.

The PKS, however, seems pessimistic about the prospect of a legislative review.

PKS lawmaker Mulyanto said the legislative review would take a lot of time because the process was similar to submitting a new bill, starting from drafting and submitting it to the House Legislation Body (Baleg), including it in the House’s National Legislation Program (Prolegnas), discussing the draft, handing it over to Baleg to be endorsed as a House-initiated bill, as well as a plenary session for the House to officially endorse it.

After that the House must send the bill to the government, which will then be involved in the deliberation. If both agree, the House could pass the amended bill into law in a plenary session.

“With the current political configuration in the House. We are less than optimistic,” Mulyanto told the Post on Wednesday.

The Democratic Party, on the other hand, has not yet responded to workers’ call for a legislative review.