Jakarta – Protesting workers have begun leaving the Horse Statue area in Central Jakarta after holding a brief demonstration for around two hours on Thursday September 14 opposing the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.
The action, which was held by the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI), began at around 1.25 pm and was joined by around 8,000 people.
They began disbanding at 3.20 pm following the call to prayers and after 10 KSPSI leaders had held an audience with the Constitutional Court.
KSPSI Secretary General Arif Minardi said that during the audience they asked the Constitutional Court to grant a judicial review against the Jobs Law submitted by the Labour Party.
"By means of rejecting or annulling Law Number 6/2023. We really hope that this will be granted by the esteemed constitutional justices", said Minardi at the Horse Statue.
The Labour Party has submitted a judicial review with the Constitutional Court against the Jobs Law. In their appeal, they explained that the Jobs Law was not in accordance with Constitutional Court ruling Number 91/PUU-XVIII/2020 and conflicts with Article 1 Paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution, which asserts that Indonesia is a constitutional state.
Long live workers
Earlier on Thursday afternoon workers packed the Horse Statue area to rally against the Jobs Law.
The workers began arriving at around 1.25 pm bringing rally materials such as flags and banners containing demands calling for the government to annul the Jobs Law.
Before the action began they sung the Indonesian national anthem "Indonesia Raya" while two command vehicles could be seen lining up at the location of the demonstration.
"Long live workers. Are you ready to fight?", asked a speaker from the command vehicle. "Ready", replied the workers in unison.
Police officers were also put on alert in concert with the protesters' arrival with police installing concrete barriers or separators on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat directly under the pedestrian overpass (JPO). Razor wire was placed on top of the barriers.
Central Jakarta District Police Chief Senior Commissioner Komarudin earlier said that at least 15 company level units (SSK) or around 1,500 personnel had been deployed to provide security.
He said that the thousands of police officer were not just on duty to secure the labour rally, but were also deployed at several other points in the Central Jakarta area.
Komarudin also appealed to the workers to protest in accordance with prevailing regulations. "As regulated by law, conveying an opinion is every citizen's right, [but they must] of course pay attention to the rights of other people, so it is hoped that the regulations in the law on conveying [an opinion] in public are obeyed", he said.
Series of rally in September
Labour Party President Said Iqbal had earlier revealed plans for workers to hold a series of protest actions in September.
He said that protesters from the KSPSI led by Andi Gani Nena Wea (AGN) would hold an action on September 14 at the State Palace and the nearby Constitutional Court building, as well as simultaneously throughout Indonesia.
"The demand is revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, which will be ruled on by the MK [Constitutional Court]. The number of protesters on September 14, the information I got, is it will be around 5,000 participants at the MK building and the Palace", he said during a press conference on Monday September 11.
Following this, workers from the Labour Party and the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) will hold an action at the Constitutional Court building, the State Palace and the Ministry of Labour on September 21. Iqbal claimed that the total number of protesters would be almost 10 thousand people.
Then following the September 21 action, the regional chapters of the Labour Party and the KSPI will hold a wave of protests in their respective regions until January 2024.
"The Labour Party and KSPI actions will stop in January 2024. Because in January 2024 there is the implementation of the government's decision on the UMP [provincial minimum wage] and the 2024 UMK [municipal minimum wage], usually on January 25, when paying wages", explained Iqbal.
"The demands of the actions are two, increase the 2024 minimum wage by as much as 15 percent. Revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation which will soon be ruled on by the MK", he added. (dis/ugo)
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski based on three articles by CNN Indonesia on September 14. The original title of the lead article was "Massa Buruh di Patung Kuda Bubarkan Diri Usai 2 Jam Aksi".]