Indonesian unions celebrate critical “omnibus” law victory

photo: AFP

“Thank you for actively helping the Indonesian labour movement win this judicial review,” said Said Iqbal, president of the KSPI, in a message to the ITUC and everyone who has supported their fight against the “omnibus” law.

The law stripped away workers’ rights and entitlements as well as environmental protections, and it cleared the way for privatisation of the electricity sector.

But last week the Indonesian Constitutional Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional, immediately suspended its most harmful features and gave the government two years to repair the law.

The ITUC’s Indonesian affiliates, KSPI and KSBSI, have opposed changes to labour regulations in the law, with millions of working people joining nationwide strikes.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary, said: “This is great news for the working people of Indonesia, and I congratulate the KSPI and the trade unions in Indonesia for this legal victory.

“They will continue to have our full support to ensure that the government fulfils its legal obligations and completely dumps these wretched laws within two years.

“As Indonesia assumes the presidency of the G20, the Indonesian government must sit down with the unions and agree on a plan, together with them, that redresses the negative impact of the omnibus law. Now is time to show global leadership, respect workers’ rights and social dialogue and show that competitive advantage cannot be based on exploitation. Only when the labour protection floor is respected will the global economy contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, decrease poverty and conflict, and preserve the environment.”