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Victory for Indonesian unions as parliament postpones debate of controversial bill

27 April, 2020Indonesian unions have won the first battle to defeat the controversial Omnibus bill on job creation, as President Joko Widodo announced a delay in the debate.

Said Iqbal, president of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI), welcomed the announcement and announced that a rally planned for 30 April was cancelled.

“This is the correct decision. Our country is fighting Covid-19 and the government should concentrate on preventing mass layoff of workers. The postponement will ensure unity of all stakeholders including the government and workers,”

says Said Iqbal.
On 16 April, the Confederation of All Indonesian Workers' Union (KSPSI), All Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSBSI) and KSPI came together under the Indonesian Labour Workers Assembly (MPBI), calling on the government to drop the Omnibus bill to announce a rally on 30 April.
However, on 23 April Said Iqbal, together with KSBSI president Elly Rosita Silaban and KSPSI president Andi Gani Nena Wea, met Indonesia’s President Jokowi over the planned rally and the impact of Covid-19 on workers.

“The unified force of MPBI is a key to success, but the struggle continues until the government cancels the Omnibus bill. The draft bill needs to go through tripartite discussion; trade unions have the right to provide input,”

says Elly Rosita Silaban.

“Rushing through the bill while Jakarta was under a state of emergency as a measure to fight Covid-19 ignores due process of law-making while keeping important stakeholders like trade unions in dark.

“We congratulate KSPI, KSBSI and KSPSI for the victory in postponing the debate,”

says IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Valter Sanches.

The massive Omnibus bill contains 1,028 pages, 1,194 articles in 82 Indonesian laws concerning various labour aspects, like abolishing the monthly minimum wage, reducing severance pay and increasing labour flexibility.