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Indonesian government told to suspend Omnibus law

2 December, 2021After Indonesia’s constitutional court ruled the so-called Omnibus law unconstitutional, Indonesian trade unions are reiterating their call on the government to suspend the controversial Job Creation Law and related regulations.

In a landmark 5-to-4 ruling on 25 November, Indonesia’s constitutional court revealed that the legal text had been changed after receiving approval of the President and parliament. The court pronounced the law-making process defective as it lacked clear, basic and standard legislative method, violating the Indonesian Constitution.

In addition, the court ordered the government to amend the Job Creation Law within two years. Failing that, the law will be deemed permanently unconstitutional and the original provisions of the Manpower Act 2003 will be restored.

The controversial Job Creation Law has triggered strong waves of union protests since 2019. Millions of workers, including members of IndustriALL’s eleven affiliates in Indonesia, have protested the abolition of sectoral minimum wage, severance pay cut and increased labour flexibility by extending contract periods.

Last year, workers’ protests managed to postpone the parliamentary debate, but in October the same year, parliament fast-tracked the process and approved the bill.

In response, KSPI, Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI), All Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSBSI) and Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) filed a judicial review at the Constitutional court in November 2020, calling the law “modern slavery”.

“We welcome the constitutional court’s ruling. The government must now suspend the Job Creation Law and all existing regulations. The provisions of the revocation of sectoral minimum wage, the perpetuation of outsourced works and the easy layoffs terms must be declared invalid since the regulations deeply impacts workers' wages, collective bargaining agreements and hour of work,”

says Said Iqbal, KSPI president.

“International support has played a large part and we thank IndustriALL and ITUC for their active role.”

IndustriALL’s 3rd Congress in September adopted a solidarity resolution against the Omnibus law, urging President Joko Widodo to cancel the law.

“We congratulate the Constitutional court on its decision and our affiliates for a strong campaign. And we support the unions’ demand on the President to abide by the ruling and to suspend this detrimental law,”

says Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary.