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Stronger collective agreements to resist Indonesia’s Omnibus law

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5 March, 2021As Indonesia’s Omnibus law on job creation threatens to erode workers’ rights, unions have decided to strengthen the terms and conditions of collective agreements in order to protect their rights.

On 19-20 and 24-25 February, IndustriALL Global Union's Indonesia Council organized two meetings to consolidate affiliates' campaigns against the Omnibus law, where 20 union leaders participated.

More companies are pushing for the implementation of the Omnibus law at workplaces, emboldened by a government announcement on 17 February that 49 regulations relating to Omnibus Law had been enacted.

Union leaders suggested to focus on developing stronger collective agreements in response to the law. They proposed to create a standardized collective agreement as a reference point for local unions and other affiliates in same industry.

In addition, more trainings on collective bargaining skills, communication, advocacy and labour laws will be scheduled to empower local unions to fight back.

Iwan Kusmawan, chairperson of IndustriALL Indonesia Council, says:

"A signed collective agreement is the law between the two parties. Workers' welfare, structural pay scale, occupational safety and health are enforced through the agreement.

“We commit to enhance the capacity of union leaders through educational programmes provided by our labour school every Tuesday night to make sure companies won't violate workers' rights.”

Kemal Ozkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary, says:

“IndustriALL stand in solidarity with our Indonesian affiliates in the fight against the regressive labour law. We will use our network to campaign against multinational companies against pushes for an implementation of the law."

The Omnibus law on job creation has been heavily criticized by unions in Indonesia; Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI), Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI AGN) and All Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSBSI) have staged numerous huge demonstrations against the bill.

After Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo signed the Omnibus bill into law on 2 November last year, the confederations of trade unions and IndustriALL affiliates have filed judicial challenges at the Constitutional Court.     

Photo 1: Indonesian union leaders and IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Ozkan at the unity meeting on 25 Feb raising three fingers in support of workers involved in anti-coup protests in Myanmar.

Photo 2: Chairperson of IndustriALL Indonesia Council Iwan Kusmawan