Haunted by so-called Job Creation Law, workers protest at parliament

Alinea.id – January 13, 2020
Nining Elitos speaking a protest in front of parliamentary complex – January 13, 2020 (Alinea)

Akbar Ridwan – Demonstrators from the Workers Movement with the People (Gebrak) held a protest action in front of the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta on Monday. During the demonstration, the workers conveyed their opposition to the Omnibus Law on Job Creation which is currently being pushed through by the government.

Gebrak spokesperson Nining Elitos alleges that the all encompassing law has emerged as a consequence of the worsening global economy which is impacting upon Indonesia.

Despite being aimed at attracting investment, she said that the government is placing the entire burden onto the working class and the ordinary people. Elitos refers to the draft law as RUU Cilaka for short.

“The ordinary people are already being burdened with BPJS [Social Security Management Agency] premium hikes and planned hikes to electricity tariffs, now they are haunted by the impact of the RUU Cilaka”, said Elitos in a press release in Jakarta on Monday January 13.

Concerns about the Omnibus Law have emerged because on several occasions the government has introduced the concept of “easy to hire, easy to fire” or “easy to recruit, easy to dismiss” in the Job Creation Law.

Elitos says that this concept will create articles which make sacking workers easy, massive cuts to severance pay, a broadening of the types of contract labour and outsourcing, calculating wages based on hours worked instead of the minimum wage and more.

Not only that, Elitos accused the government of favouring employers by planning to abolish crimes against labour laws and replace them with civil sanctions such as fines and administrative sanctions.

As a result this law will impact badly on the 55 million formal workers and affect all sectors including the media industry, banking, the creative industry and others.

“All of this will be done for the sake of investment. Yet Government Regulation Number 78/2015 on Wages [which ties wages rises to inflation and productivity], which was rejected by the majority of trade unions, has had no significant impact on investment”, she said.

In late 2019 President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo along with representatives of related ministries and government institutions completed the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation. The all encompassing draft law was agreed to at a meeting at the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java.

There are at least 1,228 articles in 79 laws which will be brought into line with the new super law. The substance of the draft will cover 11 clusters related to duties in around 30 ministries and government institutions.

Following the meeting, Widodo told his assistants to carefully monitor the deliberations of the Omnibus Job Creation Law in the House of Representatives (DPR). “Please check it. Carefully. Do let it be manipulated for vested interests that aren’t relevant”, said Widodo.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Dihantui ‘RUU Cilaka’, buruh mengadu ke DPR”.]

Source: https://www.alinea.id/nasional/dihantui-ruu-cilaka-buruh-gelar-aksi-b1ZGy9q8I