Peak trade union leaders meet with presidential chief of staff on May Day

Source – May 1, 2021
Moeldoko (third left) with KSPSI and KSPI leaders at Bina Graha building in Jakarta – May 1, 2021 (Kompas)

Sania Mashabi, Jakarta – Leaders of the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) and the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) met with Presidential Chief of Staff (KSP) Moeldoko on Saturday May 1 in the framework of Labour Day 2021.

During the meeting, the KSPSI and the KSPI conveyed several concerns about workers' rights.

"What we conveyed to Pak [Mr] Moel[doko] was the same as we first conveyed to the Constitutional Court about materials [in the Job Creation Law] which we feel from the point of view of workers are still harmful", said KSPI President Said Iqbal at the Bina Graha building in Jakarta on Saturday.

The first issue conveyed to Moeldoko, said Iqbal, was related to the minimum wage. According to Iqbal, big companies should be able to pay better wages bearing in mind that they also obtain big profits.

"It would feel fair if they provide a wage level which is more than companies that are unable to", said Iqbal.

Said believes that decent wages for workers can also increase people's purchasing power and that social consumption would also continue to provide a large contribution to economic growth aside from investment.

"What we are asking for is a sense of justice and parity, specifically workers rights in the cluster of labour [related regulations]", he said.

Iqbal also highlighted employees who have been employed as outsourced workers for years which he sees as neglectful on the part of the government. In addition to this, there are also employees who have been working for years but are still contract workers.

"I feel this needs to be reconsidered by the government because people who are repeatedly employed as contract workers don't have any hope of becoming permanent workers", he said.

The lack of unemployment benefits was also of concern to the KSPSI and the KSPI. This is because while there is the Security Scheme for Unemployed Workers (JKP), Law Number 11/2020 on Job Creation makes it easy for companies to dismiss workers.

"The JKP is provided for two consecutive years. [But] referring to outsourcing systems which can be life-long and for all types of jobs without limit makes it quite simple for employers. Contract for a year then sack. Contract again for six months and then sack", he said.

Iqbal however said he understands that the judicial review of the Job Creation Law is still being heard by the Constitutional Court.

"If we hold an action it will just be to oversee [the Constitutional Court hearings], to remind them and we will coordinate with security personnel, so there is no intent beyond that", he said.

"Hopefully what we have conveyed today will bear fruit and we trust that through Pak Moeldoko as the KPS he will convey this to the president", said Iqbal.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Hari Buruh, KSPSI dan KSPI Sampaikan Hal Ini Ketika Bertemu Moeldoko".]