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Indonesian unions reject Omnibus bill

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30 January, 2020IndustriALL’s Indonesian affiliates unanimously reject the Omnibus bill on job creation, proposed by the country’s President Joko Widodo. The past week has seen continued union protests around the country.

Speaking at the National Symposium on Trade Unions’ Response to Omnibus Bill on 28 January in Jakarta, IndustriALL Indonesian Council chairperson Iwan Kusmawan criticized the government’s intention to rush through the bill, which will sacrifice workers’ interests. He called on the government to consider the demand of millions of Indonesian workers, or risk further street protests.

More than one hundred union representatives from IndustriALL’s eleven Indonesian affiliates, as well as four other federation and confederation leaders, participated in the symposium.

The secrecy over the Omnibus bill on job creation is frustrating union leaders in Indonesia. The general secretary of the Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mining, Oil and Gas Workers’ Union (FSP KEP) Bambang Surjono, said:

“The government has failed to provide information on the bill. We request the parliamentary committee to invite us for discussions before Parliament tables the bill.”

The president of Lomenik, Eduard Marpaung, added that the comprehensive bill was contradictory in nature; integrating manpower in the Omnibus bill with the primary objective of stimulating investment, would certainly lead to labour flexibility and reduced workers’ welfare.

“According to our constitution every citizen should have the right to work and earn a humane livelihood. Any employment policy must ensure protection of jobs and social security; labour is not commodity,”

said Marpaung.

IndustriALL South East Asia regional secretary Annie Adviento urges the Indonesian government to respect workers’ voices and immediately withdraw the bill.

“Political stability is a top concern of foreign investors; the backlash shows the controversial bill could end up causing more social unrest.”