Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – Labour groups have criticised the House of Representatives (DPR) for holding a meeting to discuss labour related articles in the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation outside of the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Jakarta.
The groups said that the DPR’s legislative body (Baleg) held a meeting at the Swissbell Hotel in Serpon, South Tangerang, Banten, on Sunday September 27.
Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI) Chairperson Ilhamsyah said that prior to this news had circulated that legislators were to meet on the Omnibus Law at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Tangerang.
When the workers arrived at the Sheraton however they found that the deliberations had been moved to the Swissbell Hotel.
“Why didn’t they meet at the DPR and give the impression they’re avoiding the ‘balcony faction’? If the reason is that the building is closed, the DPR could have asked for it to be opened on a Sunday. This is just a technical not substantial reason”, said Ilhamsyah in a press release on Sunday.
Ilhamsyah is of the view that deliberations outside of the DPR building show that lawmakers are rushing to finish the articles related to labour. Yet these articles are still problematic and are opposed by the majority of workers.
He explained for example that one of the problematic points in the articles on labor will be a reduction in labour rights which are currently regulated under Law Number 13/2003 on Labour.
Other new regulations being deliberated include unrestricted contract labour and outsourcing and one-off wages which will undermine the provincial minimum wage (UMP).
Then there are reductions in severance pay, the abolition of labour crimes, exploitative working hours and the loss of holiday rights.
“With this kind of situation, workers will lose their bargaining power because they can be easily dismissed. It will be difficult for workers to form trade unions. As a result, labour conditions will worsen and be more repressive”, he said.
Not only that, he continued, a reduction in wages will worsen the micro-economic situation in Indonesia because household spending contributes 50 percent to gross domestic product (GDP) which will collapse.
“This will actually worsen the impact of Covid-19 on the national economy”, he said.
[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The second part of the article which was not translated covered remarks by lawmakers on the Omnibus Law improving the investment climate and public opposition to the law. The original title of the article was “Kalangan Buruh Kritik Baleg DPR Bahas RUU Cipta Kerja di Hotel”.]