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National strike in Indonesia to stop controversial Omnibus law

30 September, 2020Several trade union confederations in Indonesia have announced a three-day national strike on 6-8 October, calling for the Omnibus bill on job creation to be scrapped before it is passed in Parliament.

Speaking at a press conference on 28 September, union leaders from Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI), Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI AGN), KSPSI Yorrys and national welfare movement (GEKANAS), called on Parliament and the government not to pass the Omnibus bill on 8 October.

KSPI president Said Iqbal says:

“5 million union members from 30 provinces and 300 cities or districts will stop production and join the peaceful national strike for three days. Starting 29 September, we will hold continuous protests in front of Parliament and the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs.  

“We have no intention to worsen the Covid-19 situation, but we are forced to take public action because since government did not accept workers’ demands in the deliberation of Omnibus bill.”

Disappointed by the government’s proposals, the unions say that if the Omnibus bill is implemented, outsourcing provision will be relaxed without restrictions on length of contract and type of occupations. Lifelong contract work will become possible.

The unions criticized the government’s attempts to amend the rules on minimum wage and severance pay, slightly reducing the rate, but insert training clauses.

“There is nothing wrong with workers’ trainings.We actually agree with the government to revise rules to facilitate investment, but workers’ rights and benefits protected in the Manpower Act 2003 must not be reduced. Unions are concerned about the provisions that make hire and fire very easy, and workers’ holiday leave will also be affected.

“These proposals will jeopardize the welfare of Indonesian workers,”

says Iqbal.

IndustriALL South East Asia regional secretary Annie Adviento says:

“IndustriALL stands in solidarity with our affiliates fighting the Omnibus bill. We urge the government to immediately drop the Manpower cluster from the controversial bill. The government should instead focus on fighting Covid-19 and prevent mass dismissals in the country."