Protesters rally at parliament calling for Jobs Law decree to be revoked

Source – February 28, 2023
Workers march to rally in front of parliamentary building in Jakarta – February 28, 2023 (Antara)

Surya Dua Artha Simanjuntak, Nancy Junita, Jakarta -– A coalition of civil society activists calling themselves the Indonesian People's Protest demonstrated in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday February 28.

The thousands of protesters were opposing the planned ratification of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) Number 2/2022 on the Jobs Law, which they said had many irregularities in the way it was issued.

One of these was the anomaly related to the reason for issuing the Jobs Law Perppu and statements on the post-pandemic economic situation. On the one hand, the Perppu was issued to guarantee economic stability yet the government often states that Indonesia is still safe from the threat of global recession.

"Instead of implementing MK [Constitutional Court] ruling 91 that declared the Jobs Law conditionally unconstitutional, the government instead issued several policies and legislation that violates the constitution and the ideals of the Indonesian nation that is free from all forms of colonialism", explained a press release by the Indonesian People's Protest.

Moreover, according to the group the Perppu threatens several social sectors ranging from workers, students and vulnerable communities in urban areas to farmers, fisherpeople, traditional communities and women in rural areas and remote parts of the country.

For the agrarian sector, the Perppu liberalises and privatises land. For the labour sector, the Perppu only benefits the interests of employers and further undermines workers' rights.

For the environmental sector, the Perppu makes many changes to the stipulations on protecting the environment, such as reducing the involvement of communities in the drafting of environmental impact analysis (AMDAL) documents.

For the forestry sector, the Perppu is simply a mechanism to accommodate illegal activities in forest areas by corporations.

For the education sector, there are regulations that cause the state to relinquish its responsibility to pay for education and gives authority to campuses to seek their own funding.

As for civil freedoms, the Perppu conflicts with the principles in the human rights law and shows the minimal interest by the government in protecting, respecting and fulfilling human rights in the midst of a social situation that that only just recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Because of this, the Indonesian People's Protest is presenting 10 demands related to the Jobs Law Perppu and related issues, namely:

1. That the president immediately revoke the Jobs Law Perppu.

2. That the DPR reject the Jobs Law issued by the president.

3. That the president and the DPR immediately halt all forms of betrayal and rebellion against the constitution.

4. The abolition of contract labour systems, outsourcing, exploitative apprenticeship systems, an end to the politics of low wages, and implementing wages in accordance with a reasonable quality of life.

5. Stop agrarian liberalisation and land theft, reject the land bank and implement agrarian reform as a basis for national development.

6. Create academic freedom and education that is free, scientific and democratic at all levels of education.

7. Stop the criminalisation of the people's movement in all sectors.

8. Provide protection and guarantees of job security for employees not categorised as civil servants (family planning instructors, honorary teachers, fishing and maritime workers), ride hailing drivers and so on.

9. Revoke all policies and legislation that conflicts with the constitution.

10. Immediately issue and ratify all legislation that protects the ordinary people's rights (the draft laws on the protection of domestic workers, transportation and ride hailing workers and traditional communities).

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "10 Tuntutan Demo Tolak Perppu Cipta Kerja di DPR".]