Trade union warns Omnibus Law deliberations will provoke new wave of demos

CNN Indonesia – April 7, 2020
Confederation of United Indonesian Workers rally – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – The Labour Movement with the People (Gebrak) is urging the government and the House of Representatives (DPR) to halt the deliberations on controversial draft laws such as the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation and the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) in the midst of the corona virus epidemic.

They say that the DPR and the government do not care about their people if they continue deliberating the Draft Omnibus Law during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI) Deputy Chairperson Jumisih believes that the DPR should resign if they continue deliberating the Omnibus Law because it conflicts with the political, social and cultural ethics regulated by People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Decision Number VI/MPR/2001 on the Nationhood Ethics.

“The Omnibus Law deliberations during the Covid-19 epidemic are an ethical violation which signifies that the DPR has no concern about the ordinary people, is not responding to the people’s wishes and is manipulative, this is why the DPR should resign”, said Jumisih in an official release on Tuesday April 7.

Jumisih also believes that the deliberation of these draft laws during breaks in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic will only provoke the people into demonstrating.

“The deliberation of these controversial draft laws are a form of provocation of the people’s movement”, she said.

She is therefore warning the government and the DPR to halt the deliberations on the controversial Omnibus Law otherwise they will mobilise huge actions if the deliberations into the law and the RKUHP proceed.

“We are warning the DPR and the government that the ordinary people will mobilise huge actions. It needs to be remembered that the Omnibus Law has already been rejected by workers, famers, the urban poor, fisherpeople, youths, high school and university students, traditional communities and women’s groups”, she said.

Aside from calling for a halt to the deliberations, Jumisih also urged the government and the DPR to prioritise the healthcare sector in dealing with Covid-19 and meeting the ordinary people’s basic needs, particularly food.

“We also urge the government and the DPR to revise political policies and state finances to prioritise the healthcare sector and meet the food needs of the ordinary people”, she said.

Previously, the DPR postponed deliberations on the Omnibus Law until the end of its recess period on March 22. Then on March 30 the House decided to restart deliberations on the draft law in the midst of an emergency health status as a result of the corona virus pandemic in Indonesia.

The KPBI along with other trade union also postponed large protest actions that were planned to take place in late March. The postponement was in response to a plea by the government not hold large gatherings in order to control the spread of Covid-19. (mel/osc)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Buruh: DPR Tak Peduli Rakyat, Bahas Omnibus Law Saat Corona”.]