Trade union leader justifies support for ruling party presidential candidate

Source – May 1, 2023
Andi Gani Nena Wea at Central Java representative office in Jakarta to meet with Pranowo – May 1, 2023 (Kompas)

Ardito Ramadhan, Jakarta – Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) President Andi Gani Nena Wea believes that there is no reason for labour organisations to hate Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) leader Ganjar Pranowo, even though the PDI-P is a party that supported the Job Creation Law.

Wea raised the issue in response to public scorn directed against labour organisations that have previously opposed the Job Creation Law but are now supporting Pranowo as the PDI-P's presidential candidate.

"Pak [Mr] Ganjar is the Central Java governor who does not have the authority to make laws. [So] why should we hate Pak Ganjar Pranowo?", asked Wea when speaking in the Kebayoran area of Jakarta on Saturday May 1.

Wea is of the view that the public should be able to differentiate between Pranowo's position as a presidential candidate and a leading political party member.

He said that the PDI-P as a political party is entitled to hold a position on a given draft law. Meanwhile although Pranowo is a leading PDI-P member, the Central Java governor does not have the authority to make laws.

"So, don't let there be those who [try] to sway [public] opinion, [by asking] why are workers who up until now hate the Omnibus Law supporting Ganjar from a party that supported the Omnibus Law. These are two separate things", he said.

Furthermore, Wea believes that Pranowo is a figure worthy of being supported as a presidential candidate because he is a regional leader who is willing to directly listen to workers' aspirations.

"Because Pak Ganjar is a leader in the regions who at that time led Central Java, as he does to this day, who was prepared to meet with workers, prepared to listen to workers' aspirations, not just in a [meeting] room, [but] personally in the streets", said Wea.


Speaking in Jakarta on May 1 prior to a meeting with Ganjar Pranowo at the Central Java representative office, KSPSI Chairperson Andi Gani Nena Wea declared his support for Pranowo saying he will immediately form a volunteer group to support his candidacy. "I said it today, that the labor volunteers, Friends of Ganjar Pranowo, will be established in Indonesia", he was quoted as saying by Tempo. Wea claimed that the KSPSI's support will have a big impact on Pranowo's campaign since it is the largest trade union in the country, adding that they also supported President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the 2014 and 2019 elections. Pranowo along with presidential hopeful Anies Baswedan were also slated to attend a May Day Fiesta event in Jakarta following the May Day street rallies but neither turned up.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Tolak UU Cipta Kerja tapi Dukung Ganjar, KSPSI: Kenapa Kami Harus Benci Dia?".]