May Day rally in Jakarta rejects Jobs Law, restrictive electoral threshold

CNN Indonesia – May 1, 2023
Workers commemorate May Day at Horse Statue in Central Jakarta – May 1, 2023 (CNN)

Jakarta – May Day protesters have cancelled demonstrations in front of the State Palace and the Constitutional Court (MK) after failing to receive permission from police. The action on Monday May 1 was instead held at in the Horse Statue area of Central Jakarta.

"As friends see, we also coordinated with the police that did not allow us to go to the Palace and the MK. So we held the action near the Horse Statue", said Indonesian Workers Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) President Said Iqbal at the location.

Iqbal did not explain the reason why the police refused permissions for the action by more than 50 thousand workers to commemorate May Day at the Palace and Constitutional Court.

Furthermore said Iqbal – who also holds the position of Labour Party president – today's May Day was commemorated simultaneously across Indonesia.

He said that the action was organised by the Labour Party, trade unions, farmers and the working class.

"Today in Indonesia there are 38 provinces including the [new provinces of] the Papua Highlands, South Papua, Central Papua, up to West Papua, and other parts of eastern Indonesia that held actions", said Iqbal.

He said that this year's May Day had a number of demands including revoking Law Number 6/2023 on the Jobs Law and removing the 4 percent parliamentary threshold and the 20 percent presidential threshold because these endanger democracy.

They also called for the enactment of the Draft Law on the Protection of Domestic Workers, rejected the Draft Healthcare Law, are fighting for agrarian reform and food sovereignty and oppose the establishment of a land bank and reject the import of rice and soybeans.

Furthermore, they called for HOSTUM or the abolition of outsourcing, opposed low wages and encouraged the election of a presidential candidate that is pro-worker and pro-working class.

The action at the Horse Statue is still continuing although some of the demonstrators have already set off for the next May Day event that will be held at the Senayan Sports Stadium in South Jakarta. (ryh/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Massa Aksi Hari Buruh Dilarang Demo di Depan Istana Negara dan MK".]