Indonesia’s Omnibus Bill passes amidst opposition from BWI, other global unions
Indonesia's parliament on Monday passed the controversial Omnibus Bill on Job Creation which amended 79 laws in key sectors such as labour and tax. This despite the united opposition mounted by global union federations and Indonesian labour confederations.
In a letter submitted to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said that the measure prioritises the interests and demands of foreign investors over workers, communities and the environment. He also said that the bill poses a threat to genuine democratic process, particularly at a time when public meetings are constrained due to COVID-19.
“Trade unions have participated in the discussions of the legislative body, yet no changes have been made to reflect their range of concerns. Unions strongly believe that the labour cluster of the Omnibus Law on Job Creation will significantly undermine the labour rights and welfare of Indonesian workers and contravenes the existing Employment Act No. 13/2003,” Yuson said.
In the middle of the deliberations of the measure, the Council of Global Unions (CGU), wherein BWI is a part of, issued five demands to the Indonesian government:
- Stop the deliberation of the Job Creation Bill by halting the second phase discussion in the plenary session of the Parliament; do not pass the bill to become a law.
- Ensure that the law Number 13, year 2003 will not be amended or reduced. Should there be any strengthening, it will only be on the function of inspection and training to make it more suitable to the current situation.
- Renegotiate and open constructive dialogue with the trade unions to reach and discuss issues not covered under the labour law number 13, year 2003.
- Ensure the articles in the sub-cluster Electricity Power that already has a decision from the Constitutional Court will not be revived in the Job Creation Bill.
- Support the Indonesian workers’ agenda of having a national strike that will be conducted on 6, 7 and 8 October.
Yuson said that BWI will continue to support the Indonesian trade unions to protect labour rights.
“We remain in solidarity with the Indonesian workers. We continue to join them in this fight to oppose the measure. It is unacceptable that in the midst of a pandemic that has killed many Indonesian workers and turned their lives upside down, the government decided to add more burden and misery by attacking their rights and welfare,” Yuson said.