Trade unions plan rally at Palace on August 10, Labour Party to march from Bandung

CNN Indonesia – August 3, 2023
Workers march through Jakarta central business district on May Day – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) Chairperson Nining Elitos says that they will hold a demonstration in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on August 10.

Elitos said that they want to urge the government to revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation (UU Ciptaker) and several other regulations that do not side with the people.

"KASBI together with the Labour Movement with the People (Gebrak) will hold an action at the State Palace. Revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation", she said.

Elitos did not say exactly how many would take to the streets saying that they are still at the stage of consolidating the masses.

She also did not deny that the action was a follow up from a labour consolidation event held at the Islamic Centre in Bekasi on July 29. Elitos said that the Bekasi branch of the KASBI was present at the event.

Also present at the event was academic Rocky Gerung, who was invited as a guest speaker. In a speech, Gerung criticised President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's recent visit to China to promote the construction of the new capital city (IKN) in East Kalimantan. He also used the term "stupid bastard" (bajingan tolol) in his speech.

Gerung's speech was also uploaded onto his YouTube account @Rocky Gerung Official. The logo of the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) logo was embedded in the video.

Elitos however said she did not want to comment further on Gerung's statement which has now been reported to the Metro Jaya regional police (Polda) by one of Widodo's volunteer support groups.

She also did not respond when asked if the KSPSI would take part in the August 10 action. CNN Indonesia has contacted KSPSI President Andi Gani Nena Wea but has yet to receive a response.

Long-march from Bandung

Meanwhile, protesters from the Labour Party will hold an eight-day long-march from Bandung in West Java to Jakarta. The action will begin today at the Gedung Sate building (the governor's office) in Bandung and end at the Constitutional Court in Central Jakarta on August 9.

Labour Party President Said Iqbal said the action is being held as a form of protest against the ratification of the Job Creation Law and the Health Law, as well as to protest the threshold to nominate a presidential candidate in the Election Law.

In addition to this, Iqbal said that the action is demanding life-long universal social welfare (JS3H) and a minimum wage increase of 15 percent in 2024. "During the long-march, the workers will bring these demands", he said in a written release on Wednesday August 2.

Iqbal said that the workers would be welcomed by other workers in the industrial cities that that they pass through and that they would also be distributing a petition to support the demands.

"That is the spirit that will be fought for during the eight day Bandung-Jakarta long-march on foot", he said.

Thousands of President Widodo's volunteers meanwhile also claim that they will hold an "Action to Arrest Rocky Gerung" in Jakarta on August 10.

"After the reports with each respective Polda then we will prepare for large consolidation in the regions and also in Jakarta on the 10th. Because on the 10th, yeah, 10 thousand will take to the streets of Jakarta", said Barikade 98 Chairperson Benny Ramdhani at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday. (apa/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KASBI Aksi di Istana 10 Agustus, Partai Buruh Long March dari Bandung".]