Jakarta – The Labour Movement with the People (Gebrak) held a protest action in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Jakarta on January 10 to articulate its opposition to the recently issued Government Regulation in Lieu Of Law (Perppu) to replace the Omnibus Law on Jobs Creation.
Gebrak believes the Perppu is a betrayal of the constitution, that it also failed to follow the wishes of the ordinary people and deprived the people of their rights as guaranteed by the constitution.
Gebrak spokesperson and chairperson of the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI), Nining Elitos, reminded President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the DPR that the people's votes were not given to individuals or a handful of people, but their votes were a mandate of the people's sovereignty.
"If the DPR and the president insist on not listening to the ordinary people's voices by not revoking the Perppu and the Omnibus Law, then we declare that the president has disobeyed the constitution", asserted Elitos.
Action Alliance of a Million Workers (AASB) chairperson and former head of the National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Overseas Labour (BNP2TKI), Mohammad Jumhur Hidayat, also attended to give support to the Gebrak action.
"The Jobs Law is detrimental to the ordinary people, especially workers. So in this case the government is stupid. Then the proposal to meet with the DPR while secretly [planning the Perppu], so once again we say stupid", he said.
"For months the workers' struggle conducted tests and analysed the law, then we went to the Constitutional Court (MK) and in the end the MK declared that the law was [conditionally] unconstitutional but still remained in force for two years. This means that the MK justified two years of violations. Allowed it to continue, justified crimes against the country and the people for two years. So, the MK is also stupid", explained Hidayat in a speech from the action command vehicle.
A representative from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), Forestry and Plantation Campaign Manager Uli Artha Siagaan, stated that they are urging the DPR to immediately revoke Perppu Number 2/2020 on the Jobs Law, a law that has already systemically damaged the environment and forest.
Gebrak made five demands during the rally:
1. Calling on Widodo to immediately revoke the Perppu;
2. For the DPR not to approve the Perppu issued by Widodo;
3. For the president and the DPR to revoke the Omnibus Law on Job Creation;
4. For the president and the DPR to stop all forms of betrayal against the constitution and;
5. For the president and the DPR to stop the practice of producing bad legislation that is not in accordance with the constitution and violates the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
Gebrak representative and KASBI Secretary General Unang Sunarno stated that the mass of workers that are part of Gebrak are made up of KASBI federations from several parts of the country, some 20 different organisations.
"Meanwhile this coalition is made up of 20 organisations, namely the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI), the Confederation of United Indonesian Workers (KPBI), the National Trade Union Confederation (KSN), the National Labour Movement Centre (SGBN), the Media and Creative Industries Trade Union for Democracy (SINDIKASI), the Banking Trade Union Communication Network (Jarkom SP Perbankan), the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA), the Indonesian Student League for Democracy (LMND), the Indonesian High-School Students Federation (FIJAR) and the Progressive Students School (SEMPRO)", he explained.
In addition to this, said Sunarno, there is also the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), the United People's Struggle (KPR), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), the Indonesian Revolutionary Education Committee (KPRI), the Food and Beverage Trade Union Federation (FSBMM), the Independent Trade Union Federation (FSPM), the Industry Workers Federation (FKI), the Indonesian Transport Workers Trade Union (SPAI), the Marunda Low Rental High-rise Apartments Social Forum (FMRM) and the Lokataru Human Rights Foundation. (jst)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Tolak Perppu Cipta Kerja, GEBRAK Geruduk DPR".]