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Jakarta Post

Labor union plans more protests against omnibus law, to prepare legal challenge

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, October 24, 2020   /   04:27 pm
Labor union plans more protests against omnibus law, to prepare legal challenge Dissent: Workers rally in opposition to the Job Creation Law in Jakarta on Oct. 16, part of a series of protests that began after the House of Representatives and the government enacted the law on Oct. 5. Critics say the law favors investors at the expense of workers and the environment. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) is planning to stage more protests against the recently passed Job Creation Law, or omnibus law, throughout November if President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo decides to sign the law.

KSPI chairman Said Iqbal said on Saturday that members of the union, which are estimated to exceed 800,000 across the nation, would hit the streets on Nov. 1 if President Jokowi decided to sign the law on Oct. 28.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on Oct. 5, giving the President 30 days until at least Nov. 5 to give his approval. The State Palace said on Friday that the State Secretariat had completed the review on the law and it was ready to be signed by Jokowi.

Said added that the union would also file a judicial review against the omnibus law to the Constitutional Court should the President went on to sign the law.

“We will [focus] our protests on the State Palace and the Constitutional Court building [in Central Jakarta], and at the same time, submit a petition for a judicial review,” he said during a press briefing on Saturday.

Read also: Experts, activists call for civil disobedience, unity to oppose Job Creation Law

“[We will continue] our protests until we win and the Constitutional Court issues its ruling,” Said went on to say.

The KSPI will also urge the House to conduct a legislative review on the recently passed law by sending letters to every party faction at the legislative body. The union pinned its hopes on the Democratic Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) to initiate the review during the House’s plenary meeting on Nov. 9, according to Said.

The two parties opposed the bill in a House plenary session on Oct. 5. The former walked out of the session after engaging in a verbal squabble with House leadership.

The PKS, however, seems pessimistic about the prospects of a legislative review because of its lengthy process.

Read also: Seven social media managers arrested in relation to omnibus jobs law protests

In order to increase pressure on the House, KSPI members will stage protests on Nov. 9 at the Senayan Parliament Complex in Jakarta as well as in 10 other provinces.

According to the KSPI, several provisions in the Job Creation Law pertaining to labor issues were problematic. They argued that the new regulation, among other issues, removed the previously regulated maximum term for contract-based employment of five years, diminishing hopes for contract workers to be promoted as permanent employees.

Other critics also said that the omnibus law could undermine environmental as well as social protection.

Protests against the law have entered their third week in Jakarta and other cities across the country.