May Day protesters in Medan want Jobs Law revoked, end to contract labour

Wacana – May 1, 2024
Workers hold May Day rally in front of North Sumatra DPRD – May 1, 2024 (Mistar)

Rachel Caroline L. Toruan, Medan – Hundreds of protesters from labour groups held a demonstration to commemorate International Labour Day at the North Sumatra Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building. This was confirmed by action coordinator Tony Rickson Silalahi on Wednesday May 1.

Silalahi said that workers face many problems in Indonesia especially in North Sumatra, where many have become victims of sackings but are then reemployed as contract workers (outsourcing).

"In the Omnibus Law on Job Creation which regulates severance pay it's only half. The previous law was twice that of the [Jobs Law] provisions, while currently only half is left under these provisions", he said.

The action was attended by a number of labour alliances such as the Andi Gani Nena Wea faction of the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI AGN), the All Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI) and the Indonesian Metal Workers Trade Union Federation (FSPMI).

They put forward eight demands, namely revoking the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, Hostum (abolish outsourcing, reject low wages), immediately resolving labour cases that have stalled for years at the North Sumatra Labour Supervisory Board (Wasnaker-SU), immediately resolving the labour dispute at the company PT Samawood and rejecting arbitrary dismissals.

In addition to this, the protesters also demanded the payment and resolution of outstanding holiday bonuses (THR) at PT. Bahruny Lagkat, that the North Sumatra Labour Office resolve the labour case at PT. Starindo Prima that has been going on for more than 10 years, increasing the personnel and budget for the Wasnaker-SU in order to strengthen the enforcement of labor laws, and immediately resolve the labour cases at several companies such as PT. Samrok, PT. Eramas, PT. Sri Rahayu Agung, PT. Bintang Mutiara Cemerlang, PT. GCS and PT. Cipta Prima.

Meanwhile, KSPSI AGN representative Rio said he hopes that the action today can reach the government for the sake of workers welfare. "The Jobs Law clearly still oppresses workers at the moment, hopefully the government will soon abolish it", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Memperingati Hari Buruh Internasional, Ratusan Buruh Gelar Aksi di Gedung DPRD Sumut".]