Narno, Jambi – On March 11 at least 500 people from a number of student and labour organisations held a protest action in Jambi, South Sumatra, to oppose the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation or RUU Cilaka.
The workers included those who came from the Indonesian Confederation of Prosperity Labour Unions (KSBSI), the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) and the Jambi Democratic Trade Union (SPD), which is part of the Indonesian Pulp and Paper Trade Union Federation (FSP2KI-KPBI). The students meanwhile came from the Indonesian National Students Movement (GMNI).
A representative from the FSP2KI-KPBI said they are committed to strengthening the ranks of people opposing the RUU Cilaka. “Today we are only protesting in solidarity but in the future we will get fully involved”, asserted Jambi SPD/FSP2KI Chairperson Hadi Hendri on Wednesday March 11 during a break in the action.
Hendri added that the participants at the action were enthusiastic about voicing their opposition to the draft law. “The masses have been gathering since 6 am in the morning”, he said noting that the journey from Tanjung Jabung to Jambi city takes more than three hours.
At 10 am the protesters had already gathered in front of the Jambi Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) and representatives of the groups had begun to give speeches.
One of the demands at today’s action is for the Jambi DPRD to reject the Draft Omnibus Law which is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR).
The action proceeded in a peaceful manner and the rally disbanded at 1 pm. This followed a meeting between representatives of the protesters and Jambi DPRD Speaker Edi Purwanto, who pledged to convey their opposition to the draft law to the DPR.
Waves of angry protests against the Omnibus Law have been held in a number of cities around the country. They are opposing the draft law because it will impoverish the poor by making it easy to dismiss workers and rob people of their land.
On this Wednesday alone, there were simultaneous actions in Jambi, the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya and Jakarta. On Thursday, workers, farmers and students will hold an action against the Omnibus Law in Karawang, West Java.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Buruh dan Mahasiswa Jambi Geruduk DPRD Tolak Omnibus Law”.]