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Indonesian unions condemn constitutional court’s decision on Omnibus Law

9 October, 2023Today, the Indonesian Constitutional Court rejected the challenge from a few Indonesian trade union confederations on the validity of the Indonesian Government Regulation in lieu of Job Creation Law (Perppu).  

The Constitutional Court ruled on 2 October that the issuing of the regulation, by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, was in compliance with the constitution. The court has yet to make a ruling on the substance of the controversial regulation. 

The Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPI) president Said Iqbal questioned the flip-flop decision of the Constitutional Court, which declared the Omnibus Law unconstitutional in 2021 and instructed the government to review the law within two years, but the court now said the issusing of the new government regulation is constitutional. 

“The judges are not consistent. The country doesn't belong to the court judges. We will organize a national strike to protest the decision. If there is no justice at the constitutional court, we will seek justice in the streets.”

Said Iqbal added. 

The president of All Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSBSI) Elly Rosita Silaban said: 

“The Constitutional Court decision is a merciless attack on workers’ rights. The formulation of the Omnibus Law is flawed because trade unions were not properly consulted. We will not stop the struggle until we see justice prevail, we will file a lawsuit on the substance of the Omnibus Law soon.”

The president of the Chemical, Energy and Mines Workers Union (CEMWU SPSI), R. Abdullah said : 

“Despite the Constitutional Court rejecting the application filed by 121 CEMWU members, CEMWU and the GEKANAS coalition will file another judicial review on the substance of the Job Creation Law at the Constitutional Court. The struggle against the Omnibus Law continues.”

The introduction of the Omnibus Law by the Indonesian president which attracts direct foreign direct investment, has drawn backlash from the Indonesian labour movement and civil society organizations since 2020. 

IndustriALL Indonesia affiliates, together with the four confederations KPSI, KSPSI, KSBSI and KPBI have staged many demonstrations and national strikes to protest the decision. They filed the judicial reviews at the Constitutional Court after the parliament passed the Omnibus Law in October 2020.