Yogi Ernes, Jakarta – Workers rallied in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Central Jakarta on Wednesday August 10 demanding that Law Number 11/2020 on Job Creation be revoked.
The workers came from a number of different groups including the All Indonesian Workers Union (SPSI), the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) and the Indonesian Prosperous Labour Union (SBSI).
The demand for the Omnibus Law to be revoked was evident from the banners and posters that the worker brought with them. The workers believe the law only harms labour groups.
"Stop modern slavery. Cancel and revoke the Omnibus Law, Law Number 11/2020 on Job Creation right now", read one of the posters carried by workers on Wednesday.
Many of the posters also demanding that the government issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoked the Jobs Law. "Workers are not sacrificial offerings for investment. Issue a Perppu now. Revoke the Omnibus Law", read the posters.
A number of worker representatives made political speeches demanding the government revoke the Jobs Law.
KASBI Chairperson Nining Elitos asserted that the Jobs Law has been a disaster for workers touching on the way the government made the law. She said that that it was as if the government did not want to listen to the wishes of the public who opposed the law.
"Who is harmed by the Omnibus Law? The ordinary people. Because the people's movement warned about the Omnibus Law even before it was born, but the people's representatives and the Palace pretended not to hear, right comrades?", said Elitos in a speech from atop of the command vehicle in front of the DPR building.
Elitos believes that workers have gained no benefits from the Jobs Law and asked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to revoke the law. "We ask that the president revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation. Because that is what has created the disaster for us", she explained.
In her speech Elitos repeatedly called for workers to fight the Jobs Law and invited workers to stop work as a form of resistance.
"Are you ready to close down [your industrial] area? Ready to close the streets? Ready to paralyse the economy?, shouted Elitos. "Ready", shouted the workers.
At around 6 pm the workers began to disperse and the command vehicle left the DPR building. This was followed by the workers who thronged to leave the area either walking towards waiting busses or returning home on motorcycles.
The end of the demonstration was marked by the lighting of flares in front of the DPR building. One of the labour groups lit a red flare while shouting their opposition to the Jobs Law.
From atop of the command vehicle a speaker said that they would return and hold a demonstration with even more protesters than today. "Our struggle is not finished, comrades. We will take to the streets again until the Omnibus Law is revoked", said the speaker.
Even though the workers had begun to disperse Jalan Gatot Subroto in the direction of Slipi was still closed, although police officers had began clearing the roads so they could be reopened to the public. (ygs/mea)
[Abridged translation by James Balowski based on two articles by Detik News on August 10. The original title of the lead article was "Demo Tuntut UU Ciptaker Dicabut, Massa Buruh Makin Padati DPR Siang Ini".]