Unions in Indonesia continue to denounce Omnibus bill

The House of Representatives Legislation Body (Baleg) and the government have agreed to pass into law the controversial omnibus bill on job creation in the next plenary session on Oct. 8, despite mounting opposition from trade unions and threats to stage a national strike by 5 million workers from Oct. 6 to 8 to protest the proposed labour reforms

PSI affiliates in Indonesia joined unions affiliated to other Global Union Federations to stop the Omnibus bill being passed into law this week. The comprehensive set of laws in the Omnibus bill will weaken environmental and social protection, undermine livelihoods and access to essential public utilities, and put workers' rights and job security at risk.

The original press statement of the five unions is available in English and Indonesian.

Press release

The Omnibus Law on Job Creation Bill Assessed as Unconstitutional, Workers Demand the Deliberation being Halted in The Plenary Session of the House of Representatives (DPR RI)

Various trade unions affiliated to the global unions federations stated their disappointment to the result of the first phase discussion on the Omnibus Bill on Saturday night (10/03) where majority of the political parties in the house of representatives and the government agreed to continue the deliberation to the second phase during the plenary session of the house of representatives (DPR RI).

The trade unions are FSPM and FSBMM the affiliates of The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), SERBUK Indonesia, the affiliate of Building and Wood Worker’s International (BWI), PPIP and other trade unions affiliated to Public Service International (PSI), FSP2KI, the affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union (IndustriAll) and FBTPI, the trade union affiliated to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

The reasons why those trade unions reject the Omnibus Bill is, as quoted from the FSBMM President Dwi Haryoto statement are, “the fundamental changes of the law and regulation that will impact each citizen and workers in Indonesia shall not be forced in the midst of pandemic and the worsened crisis like right now”

Furthermore, he explains that the big changes in the law need some deliberation and discussion in the situation or circumstances where everyone has the ability to exercise the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. In the midst of pandemic, those freedoms are difficult to be exercised.

“As a citizen and worker, the union asses that the opportunity to fully participate in the debate on the bill that will have an impact to the workers life for many decades in the future is not being provided. That is why, the deliberation process of the bill should be halted and further discussion should be resumed after the pandemic ended, when we are able to speak and participate freely” firmly stated by Salman, the General Chairperson of FBTPI.

Meanwhile the General Chairperson of PPIP, PS Kuncoro stated that if the Omnibus Bill being passed to become an Act, it will potentially violating the interpretation of the state constitution, especially in the sub-cluster Electricity Power, where the Constitutional Court Decision No. No. 111/PUU-XIII/2015 is not being used as a point of reference in the Omnibus Bill. This will result in the violation of the State Constitution 1945 article 33 paragraph (2) where electricity as a part of essential production part to the state and needed by the people will no longer be controlled by the state, thus it potentially will has an impact in the electricity tariff or price hike that need to be paid by the people.

Besides that, the bill will also create a threat to open an exploitation of the environment and Indonesia natural resources by the private corporation/ profit without clear regulation. Our natural environment will only becoming a business opportunity and will be destroyed to gain the mere profit.

More information (in Indonesian):