Members of Indonesian trade unions protest the new job bill in Tangerang.
Indonesian workers launched protests in several cities on Tuesday to oppose the passage a day earlier of a controversial new jobs law that the government says is vital to attract investment but critics view as too pro-business.
Parliament passed into law President Joko Widodo’s “omnibus” Job Creation bill late on Monday, revising over 70 existing laws to speed up economic reform and improve the investment climate in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Still, parliament voted on the bill earlier than expected and ahead of a national strike due to start on Tuesday that unions expect to involve two million workers.
“The law will definitely affect the status of our employment,” Anwar Sanusi, a member of FSPMI trade union in the city of Tangerang west of Jakarta, said by telephone.
Sanusi said the bill would mean outsourced workers and contracted workers remain in place for life, adding that 400 workers on the morning shift had stopped working.
The new law removes the three-year maximum duration of contracts and cuts severance benefits, provisions the government said were intended to promote formal hiring.
Nining Elitos, chairwoman of labour group KASBI, said by text message that “tens of thousands of people had stood in front of factories in many places.”
Her claim could not immediately be verified and it was unclear if workers would be able to protest in front of the parliament building in Jakarta, as planned, as police sought to block protesters on the grounds of containing the coronavirus. Usman Hamid of Amnesty International Indonesia said this “catastrophic law...will harm workers’ wallets, job security and their human rights as a whole.”
But Trimegah Securities economist Fakhrul Fulvian said the passage of the bill helped local markets with Jakarta’s main stock index up as much as 1.31% and the rupiah by as much as 1.28%.
He said banks and export-oriented industries should benefit, while consumer and retail sectors may be pressured as workers may increase savings to compensate for changes in labour rules.
Police and demonstrators clashed in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday on the third day of protests and labour strikes against a polarising new jobs law passed in Southeast Asia’s largest economy earlier this week.
Indonesia’s workers will stage further mass protests across the country if President Joko Widodo signs new jobs measures into law next week, the head of the main labour group said on Saturday.
Indonesia’s chief security minister on Friday urged calm in the easternmost region of Papua on Friday after two weeks of sometimes violent protests, saying demands from demonstrators
This week saw huge rallies on Monday and a general strike to denounce the military’s Feb.1 coup and demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite a warning from authorities that confrontation could get people killed.
Afghan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Monday that special forces had arrested the person responsible for the embassy attack. "This person is a citizen of a foreign country and a member of Daesh," he said.
The Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) looks all set to form the government in Gujarat for a record seventh time, according a slew of exit polls released on Thursday.
The three teachers, all in their 30s, reportedly told investigators that their treatment of the toddlers was "discipline,” while the director said he had the document signed only to protect privacy of those involved and denied trying to cover up the abuses.